On May 14, the Turkish presidential elections took place and captured widespread attention. They were widely regarded as the “most crucial in Türkiye’s history” according to the co-leader of the political party Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP). These elections held the potential to bring about a significant change and end President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 20-year rule.
When the final results were tallied, Erdoğan emerged with 49.51% of the presidential vote, securing a substantial portion of the electorate. Meanwhile, his main contender, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the political party Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (CHP), garnered 44.88% of the vote, displaying a formidable level of support. However, since neither candidate reached the necessary threshold of 50% of the vote, it has been determined that a second round of voting will be required.
Who is the opposition leader?
In a concerted effort to challenge the ruling Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi led by President Erdoğan, six opposition parties have joined forces for the upcoming elections. This united front has selected Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as their leader and candidate. Moreover, this alliance is also endorsed by the pro-Kurdish party HDP.
What is to be expected from this second round?
As the second round of voting approaches, all eyes are on the battle between President Erdoğan and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, recognizing the critical importance of the outcome in shaping the future of Turkish politics. Indeed, in the last few years, Türkiye has seen a decline in the lira (reaching a record low of 19.70 against the US dollar) and a very high inflation rate (72.3% for the year 2022). President Erdoğan’s unorthodox economic policies have contributed to staggering levels of inflation, further exacerbating the economic woes of the nation. The juxtaposition of the upcoming second round of voting and the struggling currency underscores the weight of the decisions to be made by Turkish voters. The outcome of these elections carries significant implications, not only for the country’s political landscape but also for its economic trajectory.
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