Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and İYİ (Good) Party chair Meral Akşener on Nov. 17 called for early elections.
“We are making a clear call: You [government] cannot run the country. Go to elections as soon as possible,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a joint press conference with the İYİ Party leader.
“Normally, the Central Bank should deal with price stability. It left the function of a central bank. Now it is an institution that looks at the depreciation of the Turkish Lira and the increase in the foreign exchange as a spectator,” the CHP leader said.
He accused the bank of failing to intervene in the depreciation of the Turkish Lira.
“We come across a country that has the appearance of a poor country, completely below the economic standards of Turkey,” he said.
Akşener, for her part, said, “There is no other choice but elections.”
“As of today, if our other political parties, as the two components of the Nation Alliance, participate, it is possible for us to grow and take the system away,” Akşener said.
The economy staff of CHP and IYI Party would come together and work on the current state of Turkey’s economy, she said.
Calling for an immediate election, Akşener said, “Now the end of the road is in sight, more destruction, more poverty, more deprivation. The way to eliminate all this is to hold elections, to make free and independent and impartial elections, and to open the way to respect whoever our nation prefers, and elections should be held.”
Opposition parties, sensing that momentum is building against the president, have vowed to unite behind a single candidate in the next election. It is a strategy that allowed them to chip away at Erdoğan’s base in 2019’s local elections, and also one that has become increasingly frequent in nations under threat of democratic backsliding, including Hungary.
According to official data, the pandemic helped double the number of families living in poverty in 2019-20 to 6.63 million households. A report released this week by the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) found that 76 people have killed themselves this year because of financial pressures.
After it came to power in 2002, Erdoğan’s Justice and Development party (AKP) raised living standards with a development boom, particularly in the construction and tourism industries, largely fuelled by foreign credit. But the lira has lost more than half its value since 2018, wiping out savings and bankrupting businesses, and once-loyal voters are deserting the party in droves. Opinion polls consistently show support for the ruling party has dropped to about 30%, which is 10% less than the 2018 general election.
While Erdogan and his ally MHP leader Bahceli shoot down any suggestion of early eldcitons, Tukish press reports that Bahceli is souring on the alliance, because Erdogan’s erratci managment of the economy is undermining MHP support, too.
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