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US Think Tank Sees Rising Potential For Early Election


Max Hoffman, Director for National Security & International Policy at the liberal Center for American Progress think tank outlines his views on why an early election might be called by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, select comments below.

  • "We're now starting to see a few [indicators of early election], though no real economic rebound. Indicators:- arrests of (more) opposition leaders - changes to the election law - new threatened attacks on Kurds (Iraq, now Syria too)- performative/rhetorical battles with “the West”- escalating vs Greece and/or Cyprus.
  • Again, still no economic rebound, but the tourist season at least appears like it will be decent. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, high energy prices, and Fed rate hikes, a meaningful recovery even less likely.
  • So Erdogan may think “it’s not getting any better, we need to go now.” Finally, CHP has now all but officially rolled out the weakest-polling opponent of the options in Kılıçdaroğlu, so little reason for Erdogan to wait.
  • If he calls early elections, I’d assume he targets August (~Victory Day?) when more CHP folks are out of their voting districts. Obviously this is far from a sure thing – he’d still be giving up almost a year of his term for an uncertain vote. But it’s gone from ~2% odds to maybe ~40% odds in my mind."

Opinion polls show Erdogan leading in the first round, but falling below the 50% threshold required to avoid a run-off. Hypothetical second round polls show all potential candidates from the centrist Republican People's Party (CHP) - Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu - winning in a straight race against Erdogan.

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