The Turkish Parliament has approved a joint proposal of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to hold snap elections on June 24, 2018, a year-and-a-half before the originally scheduled date.
The proposal was approved by deputies of the AKP, the MHP and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on April 20 following speeches from the parties’ deputy group chairs. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) boycotted the vote, saying it is ready for the election but stressing that it does not approve the “forced” snap election decision.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım made the final speech at the session, saying he is “standing as the last prime minister of the 65th government.”
“We as the MHP and the AKP will go to the polls by uniting our forces to defeat all kind of threats from inside and outside the country. I am here as the last prime minister of the 65th government, give me your blessing,” Yıldırım said.
“Arguments stating that this election is a ‘raid election’ is baseless. Political parties are obliged to be ready for elections regardless of whether they are in opposition or in power,” he added.
Opposition voices have said the date of June 24 is unfairly early and a fair election will not be able to be held properly.
Speaking at parliament, CHP Deputy Chair Engin Altay also criticized the fact that the election will be held under state of emergency rule, saying the election is “not an early election but a hasty early election.”
“[President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and [MHP leader Devlet] Bahçeli have used their right for a euthanasia,” Altay also vowed.
Hurriyet Daily News