Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has challenged President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to call an early local election, amid rumors of early polls, amid the forced resignation of a number of prominent ruling party mayors.
“There is no meaning to waiting for 17 months. Let’s not slaughter democracy. Let’s hold elections now,” Kılıçdaroğlu told his parliamentary group on Oct 24.
“I openly challenge you. Let’s see who is trying to escape the polls,” he said, vowing that the CHP would give “all necessary backing” for a legal change to hold elections before 2019.
Turkey is due to hold three elections in 2019 – local elections in March, and simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections in November 2019 – following recent constitutional amendments shifting Turkey from a parliamentary system to an executive presidential system.
KIlıçdaroğlu’s challenge comes after Erdoğan demanded the resignation of a number of mayors elected from the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The mayors of Istanbul, Bursa, Düzce and Niğde have already resigned following the president’s demand, while Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek has announced that he will step down on Oct. 28.