Erdogan’s ally ignites Turkey snap poll talk
The main nationalist ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday ramped up expectations that elections could be brought forward by over a year by urging snap polls in August.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chief Devlet Bahceli said Turkey could not wait for the scheduled date of November 3, 2019 to hold simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections and urged that the polls be held on August 26.
The government reacted sanguinely to the suggestion, saying it would evaluate Bahceli’s call. Erdogan is due to hold a crunch meeting with Bahceli on Wednesday afternoon.
“In this situation it is not possible to wait until November 3, 2019,” Bahceli said in a televised meeting of MHP lawmakers in Ankara.
“On August 26, 2018 the Turkish nation should go to the ballot box in the spirit of marking a new victory,” he added.
Turkish politics has for the past months fizzed with speculation the elections could be brought forward, with analysts saying this would neutralize the risk of the economy deteriorating in the next months.
It is after these upcoming elections that the new executive presidency – agreed in a 2017 referendum and denounced by the opposition as giving the head of state authoritarian powers – will come into force.