Erdoğan's ultra-nationalist ally suggests early elections in August 2018

The leader of the fascist MHP party suggested bringing forward presidential election to August this year, more than a year before the November 2019 scheduled date
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 17:12

The leader of the ultra-nationalist ally of Turkey's ruling AKP party, said the country could not wait for the scheduled date of November 3, 2019, to hold simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections and urged that the polls be held on August 26.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the fascist MHP party, expected to form an alliance with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP party in the polls.

"On August 26, 2018 the Turkish nation should go to the ballot box in the spirit of marking a new victory," Bahçeli said in a televised speech.

AKP will discuss the possibility of holding the presidential election in August, the government spokesman said on Wednesday, following the "suggestion." The government had repeatedly dismissed the prospect of an early election.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said that the government would "consider" MHP's call, which he said had created a "new situation". Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said early polls would be "positive".

Erdoğan said he would meet with the head of the MHP, after Bahçeli floated the prospect of an early election.

Meanwhile, Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and parliament speaker İsmail Kahraman were holding an unscheduled meeting in parliament.

Erdoğan last year narrowly won a fraudulent referendum to change the constitution and create an executive presidency. However, those extended powers are not due to take effect until after presidential polls, now slated for November 2019.

The date of August 26 would coincide with the anniversary of the 1071 Battle of Malazgirt where pre-Ottoman tribes defeated the Byzantines in a victory.