Turkish government signals early local election

After holding early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, Ankara is now discussing another snap election in November 2018
Monday, 02 July 2018 22:38

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has signalled the bringing of local elections forward by five months on the condition that opposition parties agree as the process requires a constitutional amendment. 

In the new system introduced in last year's presidential referendum, there must be an amendment to the constitution, which can only be made with the approval of 400 deputies in parliament. Bringing local elections forward to an earlier date necessitates a constitutional change, as the constitution says local elections must be held every five years.

"I think holding local elections on the first or second Sunday of November, which corresponds to a date between Nov. 1 and 8, would be appropriate," AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Mustafa Elitaş said on July 2. 

"But three parties have to agree on that," he added.

Local elections were slated to be held in March 2019. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP has 295 deputies, while its ally the ultra-far Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has 49. Therefore, another party must also back to amend the constitution in order to change election dates.

The comment came amid reports that Erdoğan said at a recent top AKP board meeting that the party "will not get out of the election atmosphere."

"We will prepare for the local elections while there is still an election atmosphere," Erdoğan reportedly said during the meeting on June 30.