The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has signaled the bringing of local elections forward to November 2018 instead of March 2019, on the condition that opposition parties agree as the process requires a constitutional amendment. “I think holding local elections on the first or second Sunday of November, which corresponds to a date between Nov. 1 and 8, would be appropriate,” AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Mustafa Elitaş told the Demirören News Agency on July 2. “But three parties have to agree on that,” he added, in reference to the need to amend the constitution in order to change election dates. Elitaş’s statement followed comments from Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, who fueled discussions by saying that the first year after a local election is usually “wasted” on preparations and orientation, and it would be better to spend the last months of the year on such preparations.
“As a former local politician, I think such a re-schedule would be the right thing to do,” Fakıbaba said in a televised interview on July 1.
The comments came amid reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a recent top AKP board meeting that the party “will not get out of the election atmosphere.”
“We will prepare for the local elections while there is still an election atmosphere,” Erdoğan reportedly said during the meeting on June 30.
Full Article: Turkish gov’t signals early local election in November.