AK Party rules out early local elections

AK Party rules out early local elections

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rejected yesterday claims over snap municipal elections after rumors suggesting that municipal elections, scheduled for March next year, could be held in November this year.

Speaking to the press in Parliament, AK Party spokesman Mahir Ünal said that the people already showed their will in the presidential and parliamentary elections and moved out of the election atmosphere.

"We do not approve discussions on early municipal elections," Ünal said.

Turkey held presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24. Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was re-elected with a majority in the first round of the presidential elections by garnering 52.6 percent of the votes. Also, his ruling AK Party earned 42.4 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections, securing a parliamentary majority with its partner in the People's Alliance, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Ünal added that the government's priority is to fully implement the new execution system as the transitional period was launched to switch to the executive presidential system. Turkey had approved a shift from the parliamentary system to a presidential one in a referendum on a constitutional amendments package on April 16, 2017. The government in Turkey will now be led by a president with the elimination of the position of prime minister in the new system.

The rumors over snap municipal elections had emerged after some AK Party officials said the local elections could be held earlier than scheduled.

Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba said in a televised interview on Sunday that it would be better to have local elections on Nov. 1 this year, as the mayors would not lose any time to start work on their plans and projects, instead of the previously scheduled date of March 31, 2019.

Parliamentary speaker İsmail Kahraman, however, stated on Monday that "there will not be snap local elections as it is against the constitution." Pointing out that March was not very far away, Kahraman said that there was an article in the constitution regarding the date of the local elections, while there was no such rule for the general elections.

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