Published On: Thu, Mar 29th, 2018

Is Erdoğan planning an early election to catch the opposition off guard?

Is Erdoğan planning an early election to catch the opposition off guard?

President Erdoğan (AkParty leader), Turkey –

Presidential election to be held in 2019 could certainly be the major milestone in the country’s history since the establishment of the republic in 2023. The reason is Turks will decide if they would like to continue with a “ONE MAN” regime as claimed by the opposition (called presidential system by the ruling party) or “REAL DEMOCRACY” where the assembly of deputies representing the Turkish people will be above all other institutions to legislate and run the country via the government it assigns.

It is a fact known on a global scale that the current President enjoys an extremely powerful support from his fans which total up to about 40 percent of the total votes whereas he is also strongly unapproved by at least another 40 percent who believe he has overrun democracy in the country through some of his practices and is trying to rule Turkey with an iron fist thanks to his unbeatable power in the parliament. In fact, the opposition believes and often voices that once they are in power to rule the country, the current head of state will have to account for his practices during his administration time.

The 2019 presidential election therefore seems to be sort of a matter of life and death for the current president as it is for the opposition. Because the opposition parties claim that once the current president is elected again in 2019 to rule the country with an authority that will make him more powerful than the legislation and the judiciary, Turkey will have to leave parliamentary democracy and live under an authoritarian rule by “one man”.

Based on reasons explained above, the current President has agreed to form an election alliance with once hostile MHP (National Movement Party) leader BAHÇELİ, for the deputy elections and the presidential election to be held in 2019, under the name of “THE ALLIANCE OF THE REPUBLIC”. Thus the ruling party obviously hopes to paint a picture that if others are not in this alliance (which they are not), they are not national – as the president and his partner often voice – or patriotic and even to be worse they are traitors and cooperate with terrorist groups etc. As far as the president’s partner is concerned on the other hand, he must definitely feel very lucky as he has guaranteed to have seats in the parliament this way (which would normally be almost impossible as his party would not be able to pass the election threshold and have to stay out of the parliament had he not persuaded the ruling party to form said alliance). At this point both partners have been using the argument that the opposition (all parties) are not national (whatever it means) and opposition parties extend their support to groups/parties backing terror groups/terrorism, thus aiming to discredit opposition parties to lose votes to the Republican Alliance (as they call it). On the other hand, “Olive Branch” military operation continuing in Afrin may have brought in the “ALLIANCE” some votes in the public eye – they hope, at least.

However, the global picture in economy does not seem to be very promising for the coming period. Considering the Turkish economy may have to face tougher times – as opposed to what is claimed by the administration – it would not be difficult to guess the head of the ruling party would not prefer to have the election at its normal date when Turkish people could be less content with the economic situation and their welfare picture. On the contrary, he would rather have the election sooner at a time he believes his popularity is at its peak or at least good enough to have a strong chance to be elected “president” again. The question at this very point is “Does he believe that he has support at the moment good enough to win the election?” The moment he believes the answer to this question is positiğve, he would not hesitate a minute to go ahead and instruct concerned bodies to prepare for the election on a soonest date.

The IYI PARTY (Good Party) leader AKSENER has been constantly voicing the leader of AK PARTY (president at the same time) will definitely hold the elections in 2018 – that is before due time. The question is “If that happened, would opposition parties be ready to take up the challenge of an election to be held on such a  surpise date?” Well, the main opposition party says they are ready any minute, but obviously the new founded GOOD PARTY seems to be handicapped in such case.

To recap, one cannot help wondering about the answer to the question “Will Erdoğan take a chance by moving the elections to an earlier date, to make sure he rules out any eventual undesired factors he might have to incur due to worse economic situation, should the elections be held in due time?” And the answer is “Yes, the moment required conditions mature”. That is, the moment he is convinced he can get the number of votes to win the election.

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