Erdogan says opposition is "throwing mud" at him because it can not name a candidate
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan responded to opposition claims that he would not be able to run for a third term in the upcoming presidential election by arguing that this was his first term because Turkey switched its system in 2018.
Erdogan said six opposition parties that make up the Nation Alliance "throwing mud" at him because they cannot agree on a candidate themselves.
"Turkey switched to a new administrative system after the 2018 elections, it reset the chronometer. The president elected in 2018 will be the first president of the new system," Erdogan said, claiming it would be his second term if he wins the elections.
The six opposition parties, also known as the Table of Six, on Thursday rejected an earlier announcement by Erdogan that he would use his power to launch the electoral process in March for the May 14 vote.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan cannot run for a third term unless the Turkish National Assembly approves early elections, it said.
Article 101 of the Turkish Constitution states, "The term of office of the president of the republic shall be five years. A person may be elected President of the Republic for no more than two terms"
An exception introduced by the 2017 referendum states that the president can run for another term if parliament votes for new elections during his second term.
Erdogan's AKP maintains, however, that Article 101 does not prevent Erdogan from running for office because it was first applied in the 2018 elections, when Turkey introduced a presidential system of government in a nationwide referendum in 2017 that gave Erdogan broad executive powers.
"The fact that they are already clinging to chaos scenarios for Election Day shows that the fear of losing has them in its grip once again," Erdogan said.