İYİ Party leader predicts elections will take place before 2023
Turkey will inevitably have to go to polls before the scheduled date in 2023 because it is impossible to continue running this country with the current system, İYİ (Good) Party chair Meral Akşener has said, echoing the main opposition leader, who is also her ally.
“In our country, when government members loudly yell that the elections will be held on time, be assured that early polls are looming. It’s not possible that such a [executive-presidential] system runs. The polls will be held before 2023,” Akşener told reporters on a visit to the northwestern province of Bolu on Oct. 22.
A new round of political discussions about the possibility of early elections began when Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), called on Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli to call for snap elections.
Bahçeli, an ally of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is well-known for having called for snap elections in the past, with most calls being met by the government. The AKP relies on MHP MPs in parliament to secure a majority for any legislative activity.
Akşener supported and praised Kılıçdaroğlu for directly addressing Bahçeli. “He made the right shot. As you know, it’s Mr. Devlet Bahçeli who whispers the early polls and that’s why he [Kılıçdaroğlu] does not make this call to Mr. Erdoğan. I congratulate him for the rightful strategy,” she said.
Turkey will go to presidential and parliamentary polls in June 2023, both Erdoğan and Bahçeli have vowed recently. Erdoğan said it was only “tribal states that go to polls every six months” and noted Turkey will elect a president and parliament on the scheduled date.
In the meantime, Lütfü Türkkan, deputy parliamentary group leader of İYİ Party, suggested that the polls will be held before the end of 2021. “They have launched a ‘free-bread campaign’. That means the people are in need of bread. There is other option but to go to polls. 2021 will see elections,” he told reporters.
Akşener: Fed up with conspiracies
Akşener also touched on an ongoing internal debate at İYİ Party after a dissident lawmaker, Ümit Özdağ, argued that the party’s Istanbul head is a member of FETÖ, a terror organization blamed for the July 2016 coup attempt.
“We are fed up with these plots,” she said, complaining about a smear campaign.
Türkkan stressed that the party’s Istanbul provincial head, Buğra Kavuncu, filed a lawsuit against Özdağ but the party has not decided on whether they were to launch a disciplinary action against the dissident lawmaker.