In light of the repeated statements of officials of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey to the government on the advance of the date of the presidential and parliamentary elections which the country will attend on June 18, in political circles the question has become whether it is possible that these elections will actually be held earlier than the scheduled date.
“The bringing forward of the election date is possible and possible for several reasons, in especially the summer holidays and the coincidence of the previously set date for the elections with Eid al-Adha,” said Matt Kaan Kaynar, academic and professor of political science. at Hacettepe University in Turkey.
He added: “The June elections also coincide with university and educational holidays, which is why many people travel from cities to the countryside, and therefore the governing coalition is trying to hold elections before people move to their cities and villages and before the end of universities and the harvest season… especially as the new electoral law prevents citizens from participating in elections if they have changed their residential address less than 3 months before the elections.
The Turkish academic also revealed two other reasons for the ruling coalition’s desire to hold elections ahead of schedule.
In this regard, he stated: “The current constitution prohibits the appointment of the president for more than two terms, but if the elections are held in advance, the president who has won the presidency twice can participate in the elections for the third time, and for for this reason the governing coalition could resort to holding elections before June”.
He added: “The second reason is related to a historic day in Turkey, which is May 14, 1950, when the Democratic Party overthrew the Republican People’s Party, which today is the main opposition party in the country. Therefore, the governing coalition could choose this symbolic day to hold the next presidential and parliamentary elections.”
According to coalition government officials, the election date could be brought forward to the period between late April and mid-May, instead of the scheduled June 18 date.
Last Monday, a senior official of the ruling party announced the willingness of the governing coalition to bring the date of the next presidential and parliamentary elections closer, after the month of Ramadan and before the scheduled date of next June.
“It is possible to call elections after Eid al-Fitr without waiting until June,” Erkan Candemir, Turkish deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party, said in a televised interview.
He also revealed why it was reasonable to bring forward the election date, adding that “changing the election date aims to enable widespread access to the polls”.
The Turkish official added: “The election date scheduled for June coincides with the summer holidays, during which many city dwellers leave for their cities and villages, and for this we try to conclude the electoral process before June.”
The Turkish vice president’s statements come about a week after similar statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he indicated that “the date of the 2023 election could be moved a little earlier to take into account seasonal conditions”, without providing further details.
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