“No postponement of the elections”
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairman Mustafa Elitas said there’s no postponement of the elections.
Before the earthquake, our President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] had said that he will make a statement on March 10 over the elections. That's the current situation for us," Elitas said during a press briefing on Monday, Birgun newspaper reported.
On Jan 23, Erdogan said as a president he has an official mandate [to call for early elections] and will use this authority on March 10 to set the country’s election date as May 14.
Elitas said those who say that the government are trying to postpone the elections through the Supreme Election Board (YSK) are “Either delusional or have bad intentions”.
Turkey is facing presidential and parliamentary elections officially scheduled for June 18 at the latest.
Following two major earthquakes that hit Turkey’s southeast on Feb.6, claiming almost 45,000 lives, the postponement of elections has become an issue of debate.
An official from Erdogan’s ruling AKP told Reuters on Feb.14 that following the tremors, the "physical conditions" were not suitable to hold the elections on time, signalling a postponement to November.
Opposition parties on the other hand have strongly rejected a postponement, stating that such move would be a blow to democracy, as it is against Turkey’s Constitution.
Article 78 of the Constitution states that the elections in the country can only be postponed for one year by the decision of the Turkish parliament in case of war. In other words, according to the Constitution, elections cannot be postponed for any reason other than war.
Last week, Turkey’s Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin also said the country is leaning toward holding presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, as President Erdogan had previously announced.