Erdoğan announces Turkish elections to be held on May 4

Nobel Peace Prize Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on May 14, signing an official decree in a televised ceremony Friday.

After the decision is signed, the Supreme Electoral Commission will meet on Saturday, March 11 to validate the date and communicate it to the public. If the election goes to the second round, the date will be May 28.

With the authority granted by Article 116 of our Constitution, I signed the decision to renew the Presidential and Parliamentary elections on 14 May.

Erdogan admitted that the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey on February 6 had temporarily removed the topic of “elections” from the agenda, causing “losses of life and property in 11 provinces.”

Expected to be the closest race in the Turkish leader’s two-decade rule, the election will now take place a month earlier than previously scheduled — with the announcement kick-starting a two-month presidential race.

The announcement comes in the wake of devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey last month killing tens of thousands, and amid questions of how elections can be held in the quake-struck region.

In his address, Erdoğan said they wanted to turn May 14 into “an auspicious race that would erase the traces of the destruction” of the February 6 earthquakes.

“We invite all parties to a struggle on May 14, which will erase the traces of February 6, saying that now is the time for Turkey. We expect a response from everyone to this sincere call,” the Turkish president said at another point in his speech

Polling slide for Erdoğan

Confidence in Erdoğan is declining, with his party, the AKP, experiencing new losses. As a new MetroPoll poll showed, the ruling party lost four points compared to the January readings.

At the same time, over a third of Turks, 34%, say the AKP government is responsible for the high death toll and devastating effects of the earthquake that rocked southern Turkey last month.

As part of the monthly “Turkey’s Pulse” survey conducted by MetroPoll among 2,118 people in 28 provinces between February 23-28, participants were asked, among other things, who they think is most responsible for the earthquake losses.

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