Erdogan Sets June 24 For Early Presidential, Parliamentary Elections in Turkey

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The snap elections are expected to be officially decided after parliamentary approval and other procedures.

"We were in favour of waiting until November 2019 for the elections".

The announcement was made after Erdogan held talks with the head of the nationalist MHP party, Devlet Bahceli, who a day earlier had floated the prospect of an early election.

Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had previously been wary of calling early elections, but a highly fluctuating economy combined with the president's desire to switch to Turkey's new governmental system led to a rethink. The official noted that his party would defend August 26, 2018, as the date for the early elections.

But the date announced by Erdogan is even earlier and will precipitate an intense and hurried election campaign as opposition parties seek to challenge the Turkish strongman. Turkey on June 24, 2018 will carry the presidential government system into effect.

He added that the Nationalist Movement Party will support the candidacy of the country's incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he decides to participate in the election. It is highly unusual for the president to make such statements to the press in person at his presidential palace.

The news of early elections slightly affected exchange markets as Turkey's lira rose against the dollar, and was at 4.0602 at 1314 GMT while Turkey's benchmark bond lost its yield some 10 basis points.

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The polls will give Erdogan, 64, a chance to extend his stay in power with a new-five-year mandate, after already serving 15 years in power as premier and then president.

MHP leader since 1997, Bahceli is seen as a kingmaker in Turkish politics. The AKP has ruled Turkey ever since.

Meanwhile, the parliament on Wednesday approved a fresh three-month extension to a state of emergency, which was enforced after a failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016.

"The state of emergency needs to be lifted immediately, there can not be an election under emergency rule".

Why does Turkey need snap parliamentary elections?

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

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