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AK Party official rules out early, rescheduled presidential election

Amid calls for early elections from the opposition, Hamza Dağ, deputy chairperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), said there was “no decision” for holding polls before June 18, 2023.

Snap polls have been the main agenda for opposition parties, which created the “table for six” alliance. Dağ told broadcaster Kanal 7 on Sunday that they have been closely following the public debate on the election date, which may overlap with the start of the summer recess for schools, besides dates of key higher education exams. “We did not discuss any change in the (pre-determined) date in our central executive committee and central decision and executive board,” Dağ said, adding that they would certainly share details of such discussion with the public if it takes place.

“Circumstances do not require an early election, before April 6, as the opposition says,” he stated. The opposition insists on the implementation of election and political party law on April 6, 2022, which, under the Constitution, could be effective for the next scheduled election one year after it comes into effect. The law reforms elections by increasing the vote threshold for parties by having their lawmakers elected into Parliament, something that would affect smaller parties.

Dağ said currently, there were two possibilities for elections in case of a change in the June election date, including the president’s dissolution of Parliament or 360 lawmakers voting for elections.

Also speaking about the opposition presidential candidate or lack thereof, Dağ said his party was “not interested” in inquiring about that candidate, citing that the “table of six” already held contrasting views among themselves when it came to the choice of candidate. “Their table has already turned into a billiards table where anyone with a cue can score and can set his/her own rules. It is also no longer table of six, after the Meral Akşener and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu meeting,” he said, referring to a bilateral meeting of chairs from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Good Party (IP) last month, in a rare one-on-one meeting between the leaders of opposition parties.

“The table can crumble any time; and rather than harmony, it makes cacophony,” he added, referring to occasional disagreements between members of the opposition alliance. “Convening every 40 days for a photo opportunity to show what they called the prevalence of the table has no political significance,” he added.

Source : DailySabah