HEADLINE Erdogan calls Turkey snap polls for June 24

HEADLINE

Erdogan calls Turkey snap polls for June 24

AFP

21:19, April 18, 2018

144046884214565300_a580x330.jpg

(File photo: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan)

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

Both presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on the same day. They had originally been scheduled for November 3, 2019.

Erdogan made the announcement in an address at his presidential palace after meeting Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chief Devlet Bahceli who the day earlier had urged early elections.

"As result of consultations with Mr Bahceli, we decided to hold elections on June 24, 2018, a Sunday," said Erdogan.

Bahceli stunned Turkish political observers on Tuesday when he urged the government not to wait for November 2019 to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Bahceli told MHP lawmakers that the elections should in fact be held on August 26, 2018.

But the date announced by Erdogan is even earlier and will precipitate an intense and hurried election campaign as opposition parties seek to challenge the Turkish strongman.

The MHP chief's intervention surprised commentators since the government led by Erdogan has repeatedly insisted there will be no early elections.

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.

In a highly unusual move, Erdogan then made his statement in person at the palace, standing in front of a row of Turkish flags.

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue