President Erdoğan to hand pick AKP candidates for 2023 parliamentary elections

In the face of dwindling support for his party, President Erdoğan will personally select candidates running for AKP parliamentary seats in 2023, according to reporting by daily Cumhuriyet.

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As support for the opposition Nation Alliance grows, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is turning to ever-more authoritarian measures to ensure that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) does not lose a parliamentary majority. Now, he will personally decide who is able to run for an AKP parliamentary seat in the planned 2023 elections, daily Cumhuriyet said on Feb. 24, basing its report on political backstage debates.  

In the latest polling, the Nation Alliance has overtaken the ruling AKP-led People’s Alliance in speculative voting. Now, President Erdoğan is working to ensure that his party does not lose a parliamentary majority in elections planned for June 2023, which could put his Presidential system and hold on power at risk.

According to party insiders, “the AKP is taking precautions against the possibility of losing the majority in parliament to the opposition and in the 2023 elections it will not leave its job to chance.”

Party insiders are also, according to sources, doubting the strength of the formerly resilient AKP base in the midst of economic and political crises. The party is also, they say, struggling with inflation, a rise in prices, and attendant voter resentment.

These party insiders also told Cumhuriyet that the President is dissatisfied with his deputies, that he is “not satisfied with their work in the Parliament and the statements they made.” He allegedly was angered by certain statements made by members of the AKP and encouraged them to censor themselves and toe the party line.

This marks a further consolidation of power under Erdoğan’s one-man system in the lead-up to the 2023 elections, in which many experts believe the president's reign could be challenged.