• First Page
  • National
  • International
  • Iranica
  • Sports
  • Economy
  • Social
  • Art & Culture
Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Two - 19 April 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Seventy Two - 19 April 2023 - Page 3

Will Erdogan sail to re-election in May?

Zohreh Qanadi
Staff Writer

Türkiye is gearing up for a critical election less than a month away. Election competitions are raging especially between the two main candidates President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), and the country’s six-party opposition coalition candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
A survey puts Kilicdaroglu slightly ahead for the first round, at 42.6%, compared with 41.1% for Erdogan. Despite polls showing that the opposition candidates stood a better chance of beating the president, the election might be extended to the second round. A second round could be dangerous for the challenger, who will need support from every corner.
This is not the first time that Erdogan risks defeat in Türkiye’s knife-edge election. His ruling party, the AKP, has been in power for nearly two decades, and it has repeatedly sailed to re-election, but it faces mounting challenges from the opposition parties.
Türkiye’s six-party opposition coalition challenges Erdoğan’s two-decade rule. The inflation crisis is another major campaign theme for him. However, despite the widespread economic crisis and the February earthquake, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) still has significant influence among its supporters.
The outcome of the May 14 election could be affected by several factors. One of the key challenges facing Erdogan is the country’s economic situation. Türkiye has been facing several economic challenges in recent years, including high inflation rates, a weak currency, and a growing external debt burden. Therefore, the economy tops Erdogan’s manifesto for the May election. That’s why he launched his re-election campaign last week, with a party pledge to slash inflation to single digits and boost economic growth.
Blaming the president’s economic policies, the opposition has also promised the return of trust and normal conditions. But the problem is that they don’t say that the return of trust and normal conditions requires a short period of pain. That’s why they prefer to talk only about who brought the situation in the country to this point and turn the election into a referendum on Erdogan, without explaining what their own power will look like, Howard Eisenstadt, an expert on Turkey’s affairs said.
Another significant challenge for Erdogan is the political opposition. The Turkish opposition has been growing in strength and influence in recent years, with a number of parties and movements emerging to challenge the ruling party’s dominance. These opposition groups have been able to gain significant support from Turkish citizens.
The election presents a rare opportunity for the opposition to challenge Erdogan and his AKP amid the political fallout from the recent deadly earthquakes that killed more than 45,000 people and prompted accusations of a lackluster government response. Polling in the weeks after the earthquake showed a small dip in the AKP’s popularity and an uptick in support for opposition parties, primarily the CHP and the Good Party.
In addition to these challenges, there are also some opportunities for Erdogan to secure his re-election. One of these opportunities is the strong support that he enjoys among conservative and religious voters in Türkiye. Erdogan has been able to appeal to these voters by promoting conservative values and emphasizing the importance of Türkiye’s Islamic heritage.
Another potential opportunity for Erdogan is the country’s geopolitical position. Türkiye is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and has significant influence in the region. Erdogan has been able to use this influence to strengthen its position on the world stage.
Due to these challenges and opportunities, the outcome of the election remains uncertain.


Date archive