Erdoğan expected to address parliament amid election campaign

Erdoğan expected to address parliament amid election campaign

Bülent Sarıoğlu - ANKARA
Erdoğan expected to address parliament amid election campaign

AFP photo

With an election calendar now drawn up by Turkey’s top election authority, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has identified significant dates for its campaign ahead of snap elections scheduled for Nov. 1, with one of them pointing to gathering with their founding leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, under parliament’s roof.

The draft calendar requires political parties to submit their candidate lists to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) by Sept. 14. Accordingly, the AKP plans to call an extraordinary meeting of parliament before Sept. 14 in order to pass a motion extending its permission to launch military attacks in Iraq and Syria and allow foreign troops to launch attacks from Turkish soil, as part of a bid to avoid potential problems if the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) joins an interim government with their party.

Another day with specific importance for the AKP is Sept. 12, when it will hold its regular party congress.

In line with customs, President Erdoğan is expected to address the national assembly on Oct. 1, when parliament returns from summer recess and a new legislative session opens. The meeting is likely to be tense if Erdoğan, in the meantime, holds public rallies on various occasions as he did before the June 7 election.

In mid-August, amid last-ditch efforts to form a coalition government that have now failed, Erdoğan said he would continue to attend and speak at opening ceremonies of various public facilities, despite harsh criticism from opposition parties. 

“From now on, I’ll be there. You won’t be able to cut my ties with my nation,” he vowed.

No vote of confidence for interim gov’t

Following the procedural gathering of parliament on Oct. 1, current MPs who will also be nominated in the Nov. 1 election will return to their campaigning. 

According to the constitution, a provisional cabinet will be formed within five days of publication of the decision to hold new elections in the Official Gazette. The decision was published on Aug. 25.

The provisional cabinet will not be subject to a vote of confidence before the election, according to the constitution, but the names of its members must be read out at parliament. 

In line with this aim and also in response to the AKP’s appeal to renew the motion adopted on Oct. 2, 2014 that authorized the launch of military incursions into Syria and Iraq, Parliament Speaker İsmet Yılmaz is expected to call for an extraordinary parliamentary session next week. During this session, new ministers to be appointed from outside parliament will take their oaths before the assembly and then enjoy parliamentary immunity.