Turkey's Erdogan calls snap landmark elections set to deliver one-man rule

Turkey's Erdogan calls snap landmark elections set to deliver one-man rule

Turkey's Erdogan calls snap landmark elections set to deliver one-man rule

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also the head of the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party, announced that Turkey will hold snap elections on June 24, 2018.

On April 17, Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli said that Turkey couldn't wait till the next elections in 2019 for the full presidential system of governing to come into force.

In his 15 years of rule, Erdogan has transformed a poor country at the eastern edge of Europe into a major emerging market.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) which now holds 134 parliamentary seats to the 317 of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), welcomed the announcement.

The eagerly-awaited meeting with Erdogan at his presidential palace lasted only half an hour, the presidency said.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) spokesman Bülent Tezcan urged the government not to extend the state of emergency over worries that it would cast shadow over the elections. The CHP also called for the state of emergency to be lifted immediately, saying elections could not be held with such restrictions and controls in place.

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Erdogan said he wanted to hasten the move to a new presidential system agreed in the April 16, 2017 referendum which will see the office of prime minister eradicated and a new vertical power structure established under the presidency.

The elections are the first to be called early in Turkey since 2002.

"Be it the cross-border operations in Syria, or incidents of historic importance centred in Syria and Iraq, they have made it imperative for Turkey to overcome uncertainties quickly", Erdogan said.

Why does Turkey need snap parliamentary elections?

Erdogan said the country urgently needed to make the switch to an executive presidency, which was adopted on April 16 previous year with a referendum supported by the MHP.

The economy is likely to expand 4.1 percent this year, short of the government's target of 5.5 percent, a Reuters poll showed. Amid double-digit inflation and a surging current account deficit, a sinking Turkish lira (TRY) and Erdogan's strictures on why the country should defy orthodox thinking by resisting interest hikes-leading observers to question whether the central bank de facto still has monetary independence-anxiety has built that the good times may soon no longer roll. The currency's sell-off may have figured in the call for early elections, some investors said. "We came to the agreement that we should approach this early election positively".

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