Local elections will be held in March 2014 as scheduled, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has announced, speaking at his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group meeting.
Erdoğan criticized the opposition parties' stance on the AKP's original plans to hold early local elections in October 2013. "The opposition displayed a meaningless resistance to the idea ... God willing, we will now hold the elections in March 2014 as scheduled," he said.
A constitutional amendment to hold elections on Oct. 27, 2013, last month fell seven votes shy of the required 367 votes needed for the two-thirds majority that would not have required a referendum to go into force.
President Abdullah Gül thus sent the amendment back to Parliament for a second debate, a situation that paved the way for bargaining between the ruling party and the opposition parties over the setting of a new date. However, efforts to set a new date failed.