Türkiye at a crossroads, Erdogan risks losing, all you need to know – Corriere.it
From our correspondent in Istanbul, presidential and political elections will be held tomorrow in Türkiye. For the first time in twenty years President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is lagging behind in opinion polls. The vote comes three months after the terrible earthquake on February 6 that killed more than 50,000 people and left 5.9 people dead in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Many of the affected provinces are strongholds of the president and this could be reflected in the polls: ) At least a million citizens will not be able to vote because they are displaced.
The country is also crossed Deep economic crisis With inflation settling at 43% in April, certainly sharply down from 84% in November, but still not sustainable in the long run. Added this The collapse of the Turkish lira Which witnessed its rise from less than 4 pounds against the euro in 2017 to more than 21 pounds in 2023.
The climate is very tense. Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu advised voters to go home after casting their ballots and Don’t go out to celebrate if you win. Fear of clashes Although Erdogan was received today by the directors of the main national television channels in his office in Istanbul, he said that His party “will accept any outcome at the ballot box”. If our nation decides to take such a different path, we will do exactly what is necessary for democracy. “Those who do not respect the results of the elections do not respect the nation,” he said.
64.1 million voters, 32.3 million women and 31.8 million men were invited to the polls to choose the president and parliament. New voters nearly five million e Their vote is crucial in tipping the balance to one side or the other in choosing the prime minister. Over 75s number about 3.2 million. General elections are held in the country every five years. They can nominate candidates for the presidency of those parties that were in the previous parliamentary elections exceeded 5% threshold Or those who have collected at least 100,000 signatures.
Voting times were from 8 to 17. Abroad voting continued until May 9 and in Italy around 17,000 people went to polling stations in Milan and Rome. To allow for counting, schools will be closed on Monday the 15th. Ysk, which drew up the electoral regulations, has banned the release of data and any commentary on the vote issued in the press until 6 p.m. From then until 9 pm only the commission will be able to release news and data related to the elections. The first results are expected after 9 p.m.
If no presidential candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a runoff among the most voted will take place on Sunday, May 28, with the same rules and prohibitions as in the first round. The second round will be held abroad from May 20-24.
Three presidential candidates remained after the withdrawal of centrist Muharrem Ince, a former member of the secular Republican People’s Party. In addition to outgoing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who leads a coalition between his own party, the Justice and Development Party, and the nationalists of the MHP, there is his more dependable rival, social democrat Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of a coalition moving from the right to the left. It also includes many who left the ruling party. . The third candidate is the far-right Sinan Ogan. However, Ince’s name would not be drawn from the ballot papers and this could harm Kiliçdaroglu, depriving him of a consensus.
There are 32 political parties on the ballot papers, and 600 parliamentary seats are at stake. To enter the Grand National Assembly, one must reach the 7% threshold unless one is part of an electoral alliance. Main profiles People’s AllianceLed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it was formed from four parties: Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, the nationalist Davlet Bahceli Party, the Great Unity Party, and the new Welfare Party. Nation Alliance, a very heterogeneous front, made up of nationalists, liberals and social democrats, which includes, in addition to the Republican People’s Party and Meral Aksner, the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) led by Ali Babacan, the former deputy prime minister and czar of the Turkish economy for the first Erdogan governments, and the Future Party led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs The former Ahmet Davutoglu, and two small formations, the Felicity (Islamic) Party and the Democratic (Conservative) Party. The pro-Kurdish party, due to ongoing trials against many of its members for alleged affiliation with the PKK, decided to compete in politics under the hood of the PKK. green left She chose not to run as her candidate for president.
5 days before he was due to go to the polls, Erdoğan raised the minimum wage for civil servants by 45%, bringing the salaries of employees at the lowest level in the government job hierarchy to nearly 800 euros (15,000 TL). And he promised Another increase to around a thousand euros if he wins. Regarding the earthquake, the president emphasized that 319,000 homes will be restored within a year, but the total project includes the construction of more than 600,000 homes. Another pillar of Erdogan’s strategy is related to energy. Recently the current president claimed thatTo discover the oil fields in the east of the country He declared that Türkiye was “ready to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day.”
Kiliçdaroglu program expects overcoming excessive presidentialism, Establishing a parliament-centered system, abolishing the presidential veto, restoring central bank independence and strengthening the rule of law. Moreover, the National Alliance wants to resume Ankara’s path towards EU membership and restore “mutual trust” with the United States after years of friction under Erdogan. Moreover, from an economic point of view, it is expected To reduce inflation to less than 10% over the next two years.
Both candidates have promised to cancel Tax on the purchase of mobile phones and free internet packages To attract Generation Z.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan comes in behind in all polls showing him to be assertive, with 43%. His opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s percentage was 50.5% according to Logo searchby 49.3% for conda and 48.3% for Politpro. In the first case, the leader of the CHP will be elected in the first round, otherwise there will be a run-off on May 28. To observe the withdrawal of Muharrem Ince, who gave about 2% of the preferences, votes that could end in Kilicdaroglu.
On Election Day, the sale of alcoholic beverages will be banned from 6 a.m. to midnight and many entertainment venues will be closed or will only be able to serve food to recipients. Cafes, tea rooms and internet cafes will remain closed, while weddings can be celebrated but only after 6pm.
risk after voting
The scenario that many analysts fear is Erdogan’s defeat by a narrow margin that gives him an opportunity to challenge the results. This actually happened in 2019 for the mayoral elections in Istanbul and Ankara When the AKP challenged the results of electoral irregularities. Then the Supreme Elections Board (Ysk) I decided to re-vote In the major Turkish cities won by opposition mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoglu. According to Freedom House’s 2023 report, YSK judges, who oversee all voting procedures, “are appointed by AKP-dominated judicial bodies and often defer to the AKP in their decisions.”
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