AKP hints at snap elections

AKP hints at snap elections

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
AKP hints at snap elections

AA Photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) could join forces to hold local elections early instead of in March 2014. Holding the elections in the fall of 2013 to ease the conditions of the pre-election campaigns has been proposed, but requires a constitutional amendment.

“The leader of the MHP has expressed that they would positively consider holding elections a little earlier. There is a need for a constitutional amendment, which of course requires 367 votes,” Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said late Wednesday in Bursa. “The total seats of the two parties are enough to make this amendment even if other parties do not join us.”

Local elections are held every five years in late March, in line with constitutional requirements, but as the country will also see its first popular presidential elections in 2014, the ruling party is considering holding local polls in late 2013. Another reason is to ease the conditions for political parties’ pre-election campaigns, which will be difficult during winter. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is opposed to the idea.

Arınç said the government was planning to amend the law on the greater municipalities before the local elections were held. “Work has not been finalized yet,” Arınç said, adding that this law should be passed by Parliament before the end of October or November so that it can be implemented during the next local election. Any legal amendment that could affect elections should be passed by Parliament 12 months before upcoming elections.

“If we hold the election in November 2013, then we must pass the law before November 2012,” he said.