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Turkey: Why Erdogan Called Snap Elections

Turkey: Why Erdogan Called Snap Elections

Bahceli used to be an outspoken critic of Erdogan but has closely aligned with the president since the July 2016 failed coup aimed at ousting him from power. Earlier this year, his ruling conservative, Islamic-rooted Justice and Development party formed an election alliance with Bahceli's MHP.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called snap elections for June 24, bringing the polls forward by over a year-and-a-half after a call from his main nationalist ally.

The parliamentary and presidential polls had previously been slated for November 2019.

Erdogan said: "Switching to a new system of government has increasingly gained urgency so that decisions regarding our country's future can be made and implemented with greater strength".

Bahceli met Erdogan earlier at the presidential palace to discuss the proposal in an eagerly-awaited meeting that lasted only half an hour, the presidency said.

"We read the early election announcement as a recognition from the government of a need for a tighter monetary and fiscal adjustment sooner rather than later".

According to the Turkish president, the date for early elections has been set as the country needs to apply the full presidential system of governing.

However, the articles of constitutional change were to come into effect on November 2019 with an election, it will now come into effect after snap elections on June 24.

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He has run Turkey since 2002 and will seek five more years with beefed up powers approved in a referendum last year.

For the part of the AKP, Erdogan needs every possible vote to get elected as the executive-president, which requires at least 50 percent plus one vote in the first round.

A meeting in Ankara between Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Bahceli on October 17 followed the rally.

The proposed constitution would grant more executive powers.

The government has asked parliament to extend the emergency decree, arguing that security threats from a movement led by US-based Muslim leader Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of masterminding the coup, have not abated.

"The snap elections put the newly established IYI Party, a credible competitor on the center-right, in limbo, as it is likely that they could be legally excluded from the elections because they were established less than six months prior to the now scheduled election date", Magdalena Kirchner, a fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center in Turkey, told Newsweek.

Erdogan won almost 52 percent of the vote in the 2014 presidential polls. The group has been fighting the Turkish state for more than 30 years, causing the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including civilians.