The election date will become official when the country’s highest electoral authority, YSK, approves Erdogan’s decision. “I hope this decision will benefit our country and our people,” Erdogan said in a televised speech from the presidential palace in Ankara.
The elections were originally scheduled for June 18. According to Erdogan, this was not an ideal time because the hajj, the pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca, school holidays and university entrance exams also take place in mid-June. This was one of the main reasons for moving the ballot box. There was speculation earlier that the elections would be postponed due to the devastating earthquakes in the country. More than 46,000 people have died in Turkey alone. Nearly four million people have been displaced in eleven Turkish provinces.
“We have no time to lose,” Erdogan said. He promised that his government would focus on the reconstruction of the stricken area and compensation for “the economic, social and psychological damage caused by the disaster.” He rejected opposition criticism that his government was too slow to respond to the earthquakes. At the moment, it remains unclear how the elections will be organized in the affected region.
Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu will run against incumbent President Erdogan in the upcoming presidential elections. A six-party alliance had announced this earlier.
The May election promises to be one of the biggest challenges President Erdogan has faced in his 20 years in power. He has been president since 2014. From 2003 to 2014, Erdogan was the country’s prime minister.
See also: The Turkish opposition intends to overthrow President Erdogan
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