Tuesday, 26 June 2018 22:09

Turkish choice

In Turkey, June 24 took place the historical pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections

For the post of President of Turkey in 2018, 6 candidates applied:

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the Justice and Development Party (current president);
  • Muharrem Inje - Republican People's Party;
  • Meral Akshener from the new party "Good Party";
  • Selahattin Demirtash from the People's Democratic Party;
  • Temel Karamollaoglu - The Virtue Party (Saadet);
  • Dogu Perincek - Patriotic Party (Vatan).


To win the election, the presidential candidate must win an absolute majority of votes - 50% plus one vote. In case of shortage, the second round is supposed. The official election results are announced by the Turkish High Electoral Commission within 24 hours after the voting is closed.

The early elections of 2018 were the second national elections in the country, the president had previously been elected by the parliament.

To the last, it remained an intrigue whether there will be a second round of presidential elections or not, since the current leader of the country Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a strong competitor from the opposition center-left Republican People's Party Muharrem Inje. He was the one who many predicted passage together with Erdogan in the second round, which would be in the case of on July 8th.

However, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan scored an absolute majority in the presidential election.

Turkish President

What became known on June 25 from the statement of the head of the CEC Sadi Guven.

Initially, elections were scheduled for 2019, but after the fall of the Turkish lira against the dollar earlier this year, the government announced early elections, giving candidates only a couple of months to prepare. Civil organizations and opposition parties conducted an unprecedented mobilization to observe the elections on Sunday. Eight international organizations also monitored the voting. According to Turkish media, in the Sunday elections Erdogan received about 53 % of the vote. His main rival, Muharrem Inje, took second place, receiving 31 %. The state media estimate the turnout at 87%.

The elections were held under the state of emergency, which provides law enforcement officers wide powers to arrest.

The state of emergency, introduced after the coup attempt in July 2016. Then, the Turkish authorities accused the spiritual leader Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the US, as well as the supporters of the Hezmet movement that he leads. Gülen rejects everything. According to the UN, as a result of the government's strategy of tightening nuts and fighting dissent, more than 160 thousand people in Turkey were imprisoned after the coup attempt.

Supporters of Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003, admire his support for conservative values, large-scale infrastructure projects and a decisive position in the security sphere. Critics accuse him of trying to impose an authoritarian regime in the country, the opponents of the current president promised in pre-election programs that they will not support constitutional changes.

The post of president in Turkey was once ceremonial, but in April 2017, 51% of Turkish voters supported the new constitution, which gave the president new powers.

They include:

  • The right to directly appoint top officials, including ministers, vice-presidents and other top officials of the state;
  • The right to influence the justice system;
  • The right to introduce a state of emergency.
  • The post of prime minister will soon be abolished.

Parliamentary elections in Turkey

Simultaneously with the presidential elections in Turkey, parliamentary elections were held.

Turkish Parlament

Several political parties took part in the elections:

  • Justice and Development Party (AKP),
  • Party of nationalist movement (MHP),
  • Republican People's Party (СНР),
  • "Good party",
  • Sunni "Party of Happiness" (or "Felicity"),
  • Democratic Party,
  • Pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (HDP).

The alliance, which includes Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, received 53.6% of the vote in the parliamentary elections, and the opposition alliance - 34%. Thus, Erdogan's party lost its independent majority and it will have 294 seats in the 600-seat Mejlis (parliament in Turkey). Most of it will be created thanks to the partner on the bloc - the Party of the Nationalist Movement. Until now, Erdogan's political force had 317 seats in the 550-seat Mejlis.

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