Erdogan moves Turkey’s elections forward to May 14

Istanbul, Jan 23, (dpa/GNA) – Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, formally announced on Sunday that he will bring forward the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June to May 14.

He had previously said on Wednesday that he wanted to hold the elections on that date, but this was his official announcement, which he made at a meeting with young voters in the western Turkish city of Bursa, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The elections are seen as a test for Erdogan, who has been in power for 20 years, He was elected prime minister in 2003, and has been president since 2014.

According to polls, Erdogan’s re-election is anything but certain. As president, he has the power to call for early elections.

Erdogan is expected to gain some votes by an early election as many religious Muslims might not go to the polls in June, when there are various holidays.

The Turkish president is running for a third term, which the opposition argues is not compatible with the constitution. He was first elected president in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. A third candidacy is only foreseen if parliament forces an early election.

Erdogan supporters say he was elected in 2018 as the first president under a new presidential system, after sweeping constitutional changes. His previous term in office therefore does not count, they say. Constitutional lawyers are divided on the issue.