Ruling party ‘ready for election at any time,’ says President Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to receive “the highest vote,” with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) alliance, stating that “the AKP is a party that works as if there will be an election at any time.
“We are a movement who is always prepared for elections, as if an election will be held at any moment,” Erdoğan said, speaking at the AKP congress in the northern province of Giresun on March 25.
His comments came amid the AKP’s preparations for triple elections in 2019, to be held for local administrations, parliament representatives and the presidency, according to the changes brought by the constitutional amendment approved in the April 2017 referendum, which prompted rumors the ruling party is preparing for early elections.
Erdoğan has criticized the rumors and has said the ruling party has always made an effort as if there would be an election. He also reminded that the AKP had undergone an organizational reshuffle after he had reinstated his position as the party leader following the constitutional amendment.
“Some [people] are toying with the fact that we have started preparing for 2019. They are creating scenarios about our dynamism on their own,” he said.
The president said he had initiated the restructuring process due to “a metal fatigue” in the ruling party. However, with the military operation by the Turkish Army Forces (TSK) in Syria’s northwestern province of Afrin, that “metal fatigue” had transformed into a “resurrection movement.”
“With this resurrection movement, are you ready for the local elections, a presidential governance system and the parliamentary elections in 2019?” Erdoğan asked the AKP organization in Giresun.
“The AKP has always competed with its own accomplishments,” he said, adding that the high percentage of votes in elections should not cause laziness during the campaign period.
“We should not be lazy just because we received 52 percent of the votes [in the 2017 constitutional referendum]. We should not be lazy by looking at our opposition’s clumsiness,” said the president, criticizing the opposition of being “unskillful” in pursuing an effective campaign.
“The leader of the main opposition is trying to stall with false agendas, while we have been working on the survival of our country,” he said.
Erdoğan said the AKP had formed an alliance with the MHP for the upcoming elections and vowed to receive the highest votes in the 2019 elections under the “People’s Alliance.”
“In 2019, we will introduce the People’s Alliance we have formed with the MHP as the highest rate of votes ever received,” said the president.
“In solidarity with our brothers and sisters from the MHP, we will have the highest results in the polls, pushing the unity of the nation and the community over the top,” he said.