Turkey: Main opposition dismisses proposals to have elections in May
In response to a proposal by the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) leader to have the elections in May instead of June, a representative of the main opposition said that they will not support any proposal to have a snap election after 6 April.
In an address in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) today, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli called on parties to compromise for the elections to be held in May.
Omer Celik, the spokesperson for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), also told a group of reporters in the Turkish parliament on Monday that the elections may be held a bit sooner. He said, "We may move it a bit forward, but it will not be too forward, it will not really be a snap election."
Ozgur Ozel, the deputy parliamentary chair of the Republican People's Party (CHP), objected to having elections in May, saying:
"We are aware that proposals to have the elections after 6 April are indications of political engineering attempts, since in this case the elections will not be considered snap elections. We will not supports such proposals."
6 April 2023 is the date the amended election law will take effect in Turkey. The ratified amendments had formally been announced a year earlier on 6 April, and a full year is required for them to come into force.
The amendments in question re-regulates the conditions in which parties compete under alliances. The law prior to the amendments dictates that in case one of the parties in an alliance passes the electoral threshold, this means that any other party in that alliance will be unaffected by the threshold. The amendments will require - after 6 April - every single party in an alliance to pass the threshold in order to secure a seat in the Turkish parliament.
Both parties in the ruling People's Alliance, AKP and MHP, are likely to pass the amended electoral threshold of 7%, according to most polls, while four parties that are about to enter into an alliance with CHP and Good Party under the Nation Alliance are apparently far from receiving the required percentage of the popular vote.
Meral Danis Bestas, the deputy parliamentary chair of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), told +Gercek, "We will be ready if the elections are held today."
HDP, who had received 11.7% of the vote in the parliamentary elections in 2018, are set to compete in the elections under the Labor and Freedom Alliance in partnership with five socialist parties.