GÖKSEL BOZKURT-DUYGU GÜVENÇ
ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
Turkey will go to the polls on July 22. All parties in Parliament yesterday agreed for general elections to be held on July 22. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) called a motion in the assembly to hold elections and all the 458 lawmakers present in the 550-seat Paliament approved it.
Following heated discussions, deputies from the People's Republican Party (CHP), Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) and the True Path Party (DYP) gave the nod for elections to be held on that date, joined by deputies of the AKP.
The date for general elections was changed from June 24 to July 22 upon the request of the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK). The board asked for 80 more days to make the necessary arrangements.
AKP deputies, speaking on condition of anonymity told the Turkish Daily News that the date of elections was changed in order to explain government actions to the public, to complete projects started before the elections and that the passing of constitutional reform package was also taken into consideration.
The discussions for elections
ANAVATAN deputy, Safter Gaydalı, gave his support for July 22 as the election date in his speech during the parliamentary session, and deputy floor leader of ANAVATAN Muzaffer Kurtulmuşoğlu drew attention to the resignation date of civil servants.
“There is not enough time for resignation, they are allowed to resign until May 5, which is a Saturday and not a working day”, Kurtulmuşoğlu noted.
The CHP opposed going to the polls on July 22 and offered the first days of June or September. The whip of the CHP, Haluk Koç claimed that the election date was arranged by the ruling party in order to prevent the success of CHP. Koç said that most of the CHP voters would be on summer holidays in July.
“The elections on July 22 will not reflect the voters will, due to the summer season,” Koç said.
Another CHP deputy, Atilla Kart added that the CHP would not shy away from elections.
The whip of AKP Eyüp Fatsa argued that YSK had given the earliest date taking into consideration the primary elections of the parties. Another deputy of the AKP, Salih Kapusuz, called on the opposition not to oppose the elections, stating that they were the ones who had asked for elections.
Erdoğan argues it is a test of sincerity
Coming to the Parliament, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that the opposition of CHP to the date showed their insincerity.
“Now it is clear that who favors elections and who does not. We asked for a shorter time period but YSK took into consideration the preliminary elections, saying that it can not be less than 80 days,” said Erdoğan.
Deputy Prime Minister Abdüllatif Şener argued that there is nothing out of the ordinary with the economy.
“The general elections can not be named as early elections. Whoever wants to vote can give their vote,” argued Şener.
The law permitting 25-year-olds to be elected will pass on Sunday
The first round of discussions regarding the amendment, which gives a chance for 25-year-olds to be elected, and fixing the names of independent deputies on the ballot paper was completed in Parliament yesterday. The second round of discussions regarding the bill for constitutional amendments will take place Sunday with the approval of all parties after voting for presidential elections.