Turkey may call elections for May next year

Turkey may call elections for May next year
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Experts say bringing forward the elections could work in favor of Erdogan, helping him to avoid any legal appeals of running for the third consecutive term, which is against the Constitution

Turkey may bring forward presidential and parliamentary elections to May, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s far-right governing ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Secretary-General Ismet Buyukataman said.

Due to the university exams scheduled for June next year, there might be a possibility of bringing the elections one month earlier, Buyukataman said, Diken news website reported on Thursday.

Erdogan, who’s approval ratings has been in decline due to the economic woes in the country, must call presidential and parliamentary elections for June at the latest. 

Political opposition in Turkey says Erdogan is breaking the Constitution by running for a third consecutive term. A president may serve a maximum of two terms in office, the Constitution of Turkey says. However, the Constitution also says that if the parliament decides to renew the elections in the second term of the presidency, current president could run for another term. According to some judicial experts and academics, Erdogan could avoid any legal appeals by bringing the elections forward.

Hurriyet newspaper in June said that the elections could be held on May 14 next year.

Erdogan formally announced his presidential candidacy for re-election in June and has the support of MHP.

Six opposition parties including the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) which are working on putting forward a joint name to run against Erdogan at the elections, are yet to declare a candidate. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of CHP reiterated his willingness to run as a candidate should the table of six parties agree on his name.