Winning the presidency depends on money
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate will win the presidential election in the first round. It is not the first time he has said this. He is self-confident. Indeed, it is not just because of the last local elections that he has reached this thought.
Everything is arranged so that the AKP candidate wins the election. Regardless of who the rival is, the AKP candidate will win this election. The secret lies in the financing of the election campaign and the means that candidates have to explain themselves to the public.
To run for office in the presidential elections, either 20 deputies or a political party that obtained more than 10 percent of the votes in the last elections should nominate you.
According to the Constitution, the president should not be affiliated to a party. There is nobody left who still cares about the Constitution, but since public officers whose candidacy has become certain must leave their posts according to the electoral law, then those candidates who are members of a political party, even if they are nominated by the party, must resign from their parties and must not use party symbols in the election.
The letter and the spirit of the Constitution require this.
The cost of an election campaign to candidates exceeds trillions of Turkish Liras. Before the last local elections, only the Treasury’s contribution to political parties was 145 million liras. We can assume that a very large portion of this was spent on elections. Because in our country the accounts of political parties are not open to the public, we do not know which party spent how much, or on what.
The expenditures of local candidates should be added to the figures spent by the party headquarters so that a complete figure is reached. But I’m sure that even the parties themselves don’t know this.
So, how would a presidential candidate finance his campaign?
As in several other laws that the AKP government has issued, this one is incomplete. They will fill in the blanks in a way that suits them.
From whom are donations accepted? How much are they? How will these donations be controlled? Is there an upper limit?
It has been written in the law: Donations can be received from Turkish citizens. Any person can make a contribution at each election round that does not exceed the gross amount of the monthly salary of the highest paid civil servant, plus subsidies. Candidates cannot take out loans.
The Supreme Election Board will audit these accounts after the coming election.
Let us say you have found 20 deputies who will nominate you and you have become a candidate. With a rough calculation, you need to spend around 15 million liras. You can guess that this amount of money would just evaporate while organizing rallies, making flags, posters, banners, fee for advisors, payments for campaign workers, etc.
Let’s go back to the beginning: It is not easy to be a candidate, but it’s not at all easy to find the budget to conduct a campaign either.
What will happen in this case?
Money that has been stacked in homes, or stashed away in shoe boxes, that was “donated” to the foundations of children… The election campaign will be covertly financed by these sources.
Do not forget that the entire media has become the trumpet of the AKP, either by force or by forming “pools.”
Now, give me an answer: Who do you think will win the election?