Erdoğan may call Turkish elections for May next year - report

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may call presidential and parliamentary elections for May next year, Hürriyet newspaper said on Wednesday.

The elections could be held on May 14, it said, citing rumours within Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The government must hold the vote by June 2023.

The presidential and parliamentary elections will take place in the centenary year of the establishment of the Turkish republic, which Erdoğan says will mark a key turning point in Turkey’s development and global standing. May 14 is five days before Turkey remembers the start of its war of independence, which began on May 19, 1919.

One of the main reasons for bringing the vote forward to May is to avoid a possible second round of the presidential election in July, when lots of Turks would relocate due to a summer holiday, Hürriyet said. Farmers would also be tending crops, it said.

Erdoğan’s approval rating has been in decline due to economic troubles in the country -- the lira slumped by 44 percent against the dollar last year. Annual inflation surged to 73.5 percent in May, the highest level since 1998, pummelling living standards.

Holding the elections in May might also be designed to quash opposition claims that Erdoğan is breaking the Constitution by running for a third term as president, the Diken news website reported. Law experts say that calling early elections would help avoid any legal discussions or appeals. The Constitution states that a president may serve a maximum of two terms in office.

Exams in schools to be held during June might also create difficulties for families and students in terms of voting, Hürriyet said, citing the talk within the AKP.

A May election date would also come just after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when the negative psychology created by winter would dissipate, the newspaper said.



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