The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is confident that its chairman and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will win the presidency in the first round of voting by securing at least 50 percent plus one vote.
“The latest polls indicate that our president’s [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] vote is 55.6 percent,” AKP spokesperson Mahir Ünal said on April 19 in a press conference following a meeting with Erdoğan and AKP deputies in the capital Ankara.
Erdoğan had convened AKP lawmakers in Ankara to discuss the upcoming period for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held on June 24, over one year ahead of their originally scheduled date.
Following the meeting, AKP officials came together under Erdoğan in a “harmonization commission” to accelerate the legislative harmonization process necessary to hold elections.
The June 24 elections will be the first parliamentary and presidential elections under the amended constitution stipulating a shift from a parliamentary to an executive presidential system in Turkey, and existing legislation needs to be harmonized for this process.
“Initially we need to confirm the process of presenting a candidate with 100,000 votes, even though there is a provision in the [amended] constitution on how the candidates can be determined. There will be a swift regulation on that,” Ünal said.
He said the harmonization of the election and political parties law will be discussed with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in line with the alliance that the two parties have formed for the elections.
“We will discuss it in the people’s alliance commission and then we will submit it to parliament,” Ünal added.
Noting that the AKP’s campaigning will “probably start on May 15,” he vowed that the party is “ready for elections.”
Early polls positively affect economy
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said “the early elections will have positive economic effects.”
“There will be no need for run-off elections. The result of the [presidential] elections is now certain after the reaction of the markets,” Bozdağ told state-run Anadolu Agency in an interview on April 19, adding that the markets had a “positive response” to the announcement of early elections.
“Whoever wins the election on June 24 will have a perspective for five years. There will be no question of whether or not a government can be formed after the polls. The nation’s government will come directly out of the ballot box,” he said.
“June 24 is the date when the new governance system will begin to be implemented in line with the people’s will. Our people will open the door of a new era on June 24,” he said, adding that the decision “to hold early elections is a step that will ruin those who have planned dirty plots against Turkey.”
‘Kılıçdaroğlu will be the CHP’s candidate’
Bozdağ also predicted that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) would nominate its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as its presidential candidate.
“I think Kılıçdaroğlu will be the CHP’s candidate. But when I look I see that the opposition seems to have been caught in the rain without an umbrella,” he said.
“If Kılıçdaroğlu is not the candidate, it would mean that the CHP has no aspiration to come to power,” Bozdağ suggested, also arguing that the main opposition party is “afraid of establishing a pre-election alliance.”
“Its potential ally is clear: The Peoples’ Democratic Party [HDP]. But it will face serious difficulties in explaining to its patriotic grassroots voters if it decides to form an alliance with the HDP,” he said.