Turkey's ruling party official rules out early local elections

Turkey's ruling party official rules out early local elections

A senior official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has ruled out the possibility of bringing local elections forward from their original date on March 2019. 

“We do not consider holding snap polls. Local elections will be held on March 31, 2019. We have seven months left until elections,” said AKP deputy chair Ali İhsan Yavuz, who is in charge of election affairs.

“We [the AKP] need greater success [in the elections],” Yavuz added.

Turkey held twin presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

These polls were originally scheduled for November 2019 but were brought forward after a call by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and then endorsed by the ruling party. The June 24 elections ushered in a powerful new executive presidency long sought by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan won over 26.3 million votes—52.59 percent—in the June 24 poll.

The president’s chief rival from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Muharrem İnce, won 30.64 percent of the vote.

Erdoğan’s AKP garnered 42.6 percent of the vote in the June elections, while the CHP’s share of the vote was 22.6 percent.