Ruling parties willing to have elections on time: Report
The officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally far right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are not inclined to postpone the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey after the earthquake, Duvar's Ankara correspondent Nergis Demirkaya said on Saturday.
Demirkaya noted that the ruling bloc's officials were intent on having the elections on time essentially for three reasons:
- The technical problems posed by the earthquake can be solved through the capabilities of the Supreme Election Council (YSK) and further measures.
- Pushing the constitutional limits may lead to controversies concerning legitimacy.
- The negative impact of the earthquake is likely to get worse in time, which may lead to further erosion in voter support.
Both government officials and YSK are faced in the process with problems that will be created by a displacement of around two million quake survivors. Modification of electoral registers accordingly and relocation of polling stations in the earthquake zone are among measures that will be required to be taken.
Even if the elections are held on 14 May, displaced voters will still have a full month to update their addresses, and this can be done quite simply through the internet, Demirkaya added.
Remarks by a co-founder of AKP earlier led to speculations that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the party's leadership will try to postpone the elections, which according to legal provisions is to be held no later than 18 June .
Bulent Arinc, former speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and one of the most important AKP figures till being cast aside by Erdogan in mid 2010s, said on 13 February that elections should definitely be postponed.