Senior AKP figure signals early elections

Ruling AKP Deputy Chair Numan Kurtulmuş has signaled for a possible early election which was normally scheduled to be held in June 2023. “Currently, the date of the election is June 2023. It may be possible to make it sooner if certain obligations arise,” Kurtulmuş noted.

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Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chair Numan Kurtulmuş signaled for early presidential and general elections which were normally scheduled to take place in June 2023.

Kurtulmuş told pro-government daily Yeni Şafak that “Currently, the date of the election is June 2023. It may be possible to make it sooner if certain obligations arise. But such an issue is not yet on our agenda.”

Kurtulmuş also said that AKP’s votes are increasing with “economic recovery.”

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 deputies 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, 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 would not object to Erdoğan's candidacy.

Some opposition politicians stated that they are not supporting the idea of holding early elections after April 2022 as the new election system will be applied, which was regarded to work for the ruling AKP.

While some CHP figures claimed that Kılıçdaroğlu will be the opposition's candidate, there is no official announcement yet.