Turkey to Hold Elections in June, More than a Year Early

Turkish army neutralizes 38 terrorists in one week

Turkey will hold early presidential and legislative elections on June 24, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a press conference in Ankara on Wednesday.

Mr. Erdogan's announcement came after discussions with Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, the main nationalist group, who had called a day earlier for elections to be held well in advance of their originally scheduled date, in November 2019.

Markets, seemingly assessing that a freshly elected government will have the mandate to effectively deal with the evolving economic malaise, were lifted by the announcement of early elections, first called for by MHP leader Devlet Bahceli. Bahceli's small MHP party is expected to form an alliance with Erdogan's AK Party in the parliamentary election. "He may well be anxious that if Turkey's economic problems continue to worsen it will take a toll on his support", said Nicholas Danforth, a senior policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Centre in Washington.

Bahceli supported the referendum previous year, saying it would result in a "strong political power to ensure that the Turkish Republic survives into the future". The changes take effect with the next election.

Earlier today, Erdogan said Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections will be brought forward to June 24. But our military operation in Syria and the historically significant regional developments in Syria and Iraq made it compulsory for Turkey to overcome the uncertainties.

The elections would be held under a state of emergency that was declared following the failed coup.

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On April 16, 2017, Turkey held a referendum during which the majority of voters decided in favor of an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system. "It's urgent for Turkey to shift to the new system in order to make decisions and take concrete steps regarding our future". The main opposition party accuses the government of misusing its emergency powers to erode democracy and arrest government critics.

"The presidential system will go into force at the end of 2019". Now, the victor of June's presidential vote - widely expected to be Erdogan - will be able to use them far quicker than had previously been planned.

But the snag for her Iyi Party is that it is a new political movement and could be disqualified by electoral authorities because of procedural reasons.

The new rules will mean the Turkish president is head of state, head of government, and head of the ruling party.

CHP will seek to present a candidate to challenge the Turkish strongman.

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