Erdoğan announces candidacy for upcoming presidential elections

President Erdoğan has for the first time announced that he will seek for another term in the upcoming elections planned to be held in June 2023.

Duvar English - Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 9 announced that the elections will take place as planned in June 2023 and that he will be a candidate once again.

“The People's Alliance’s candidate for presidential elections is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” he said during the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Provincial Advisory Council Meeting in the western province of İzmir.

The People's Alliance is the ruling alliance between the AKP and far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Erdoğan said that the general elections will be held on time, in mid-June of 2023, ending speculations of snap polls.

"Just as we have brought together centuries-old work and services to our country over the past 20 years, I hope we will build a great and powerful Turkey together again in the coming days," Erdoğan said.

After the announcement, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair Engin Altay said that Erdoğan "became a candidate for the elections that he will lose."

Altay also commented on the election date in remarks made to the daily Cumhuriyet, saying: "Whenever Erdoğan said that there is no early election, know that there was an early election 3 months later."

Can Erdoğan run for another term? 

Erdoğan became president for the first time in the presidential elections held in 2014.

He later took office as the first president of the new executive presidential system in the elections held in June 2018. Under the new system, a person can be elected president at most two times.

Erdoğan's five-year term of office expires in June 2023, and the debate is going on whether he could be a candidate again.

Pro-government circles say that there is no legal obstacle for Erdoğan to be nominated once again under the new system because the presidency has assumed a different role with the 2017 constitutional reform. However, critics point out that Article 101 of the Turkish Constitution puts a two-term limit on the presidency. A change in the Constitution for this issue needs the votes of two-thirds majority in parliament (400 lawmakers) which the ruling alliance falls short of achieving.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of MHP from the ruling alliance, said that there is no obstacle for Erdoğan to be a candidate again.

Previously, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had said that his party will not object to Erdoğan's candidacy.