Government ally Bahçeli points to May for early election

Erdoğan's ally MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli called for the election to be held in May which is normally scheduled to be held in June. “Let's finish this in May,” he said.

Duvar English

Presidential and parliamentary elections should be held in May instead of June, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ally and the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli said on Jan. 17

“Let’s finish this in May,” Bahçeli said during his party’s parliamentary group meeting.

His remarks came after Erdoğan’s signal for a possible early election due to “the seasonal conditions.” The elections are normally scheduled to be held on June 18.

“This is not an early election, but an update of date,” Bahçeli added.

Some critics say that Erdoğan can be a candidate if the Parliament decides to hold early elections due to term-limit.

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.

According to critics, another way for Erdoğan to become a candidate is if the Parliament decides to hold early elections with the approval of 360 lawmakers out of 600. The total number of seats in the People's Alliance, consisting of ruling AKP, far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ultranationalist Grand Unity Party (BBP), is 335.

Devlet Bahçeli previously said that there is no obstacle for Erdoğan to be candidate again.

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

On the other hand, some politicians from opposition stated that they are not supporting the idea of holding early elections after April 2023 as the new election system will be applied, which was regarded to practice in favor of the ruling AKP.