On July 15, 2016, Turkey witnessed a coup attempt that was failed by the ruling government with the help of people of Turkey. After coup attempt, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan cracked down on suspected coup plotters and supporters and imposed the state of emergency. On Sunday, June 24, 2018 Turkish citizens will be voting to select the members of parliament and to elect the president. The election was originally scheduled for November 3, 2019, but the parliament moved the election forward by more than a year in April 2018.
People’s alliance of ruling AK Party will win the majority of seats in parliamentary election and leader of AK Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will win the presidential election
On Sunday, June 24, 2018 , election will take place in the backdrop of a state of emergency that has been ongoing since a coup attempt that was failed in July 2016 against the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Presidential vote on Sunday will be Turkey’s switch from current parliamentary system to Presidential system with increased powers, which was approved and amended in the constitution last year. In this system, powers of cabinet and parliament will be reduced.
As per the 2017 constitutional amendment this parliamentary election will determine the incoming 600 members of parliament instead of 550. Turkey has 59.39 million voters and nine political parties.
In the current political system, the conservative justice and development party (AK Party) led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, controlling 316 seats of total 550 seats in parliament and ruling the country alone. It is followed by the main opposition centre-right Republican People’s Party (CHP) led by Kemal kilicdaroglu and controlling 131 seats in parliament.
Six candidates are running for the Sunday’s presidential election. If a single candidate receives more than 50 percent of casted votes then the candidate is declared the winner. If it doesn’t happen then the two candidates who secure the highest number of votes in first round will compete for the second round of election.
A law was passed in parliament on March 3, 2017 that political parties in Turkey can form alliance and enter the election with a joint list of candidates for the parliamentary election.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the current president of Turkey, is the most powerful leader in Turkey’s history and standing for re-election in presidential vote on Sunday from the People’s alliance, while remaining parties have their individual presidential candidates in the first round.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been in power for more than 15 years as prime minister or president and has led Turkey’s economic transition to an emerging market. He shifted Turkey’s foreign policy towards East and improved relations with Russia and Iran. However, western allies and right groups of Turkey accuse him of weakening the democracy and parliamentary system and basic rights in the country.
Erdogan’s main rivalry is Muharrem Ince, who is the presidential candidate from Republican People’s Party (CHP) and has been a deputy with party since 2002. He has been a fierce critic of Erdogan and his party policies.
Ince has vowed to create a new constitution which will reinstall a strong parliamentary system with a strong sense of democracy and the rule of law if he is elected president.
Opinion polls show Erdogan several points ahead of his closest competitor in the presidential race. Erdogan took bold decisions to revamp Turkey’s economy and to secure Turkey from threats including ISIS and Kurd fighters.
In order to reduce the bureaucracy and corruption Turkish President Erdogan said that he will reduce the number of ministers to 16 if he wins the election on Sunday. He said in an interview to ATV on Thursday, June 21, 2018, “When I was prime minister there were 37 ministers. We reduced it to 26. Now we will lower it to 16”. He added, “with the new system we will reduce the bureaucracy. We will take decisions faster and all services will be result oriented”.
Social media platforms Facebook, twitter will play a large role in influencing the voters. News stories targeting the ruling AK Party, main opposition party CHP and all six presidential candidates are getting viral on social media.
An image of Meral Aksener, presidential candidate from IYI Party, with Fethullah Gulen sitting side by side is being shared thousands of times on social media. Gulen is a US based businessmen and cleric; he is deeply unpopular in Turkey after he was blamed by the government for the failed coup on July 5, 2016.
People’s alliance of ruling AK Party will win the majority of seats in parliamentary election and the strongest leader of Turkey and leader of AK Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will win the presidential election and would take an office with vastly expanded powers.