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Erdoğan reaches ‘preliminary agreement’ with far-right ally to hold elections on April 30: report

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reached a “preliminary agreement” with his ally Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), to hold the 2023 elections scheduled for June 18 on April 30, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Friday, citing sources from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Erdoğan on Thursday held an hour-long meeting with Bahçeli at the presidential palace in Ankara, and the main topic discussed was the date of the 2023 elections, DW said.

According to DW, the president and his ally reached a “preliminary agreement” to bring the parliamentary and presidential elections forward and hold the first round on April 30, instead of June 18 as was originally scheduled.

Following his meeting with Bahçeli, Erdoğan also met with his party’s executives and reportedly told them that the MHP leader had no objection to holding the elections at an earlier date and that they should start preparing for the elections to be held at the end of April.

DW also said it was “very likely” that there will be a second round in the presidential election, which will be held on May 14 in the event that the elections are brought forward.

If the AKP-MHP alliance secures the backing of opposition lawmakers, a decision to hold early elections can be taken in parliament with the votes in favor of at least 360 deputies. Otherwise, elections can still be held on an earlier date on Erdoğan’s orders.

Opposition parties, on the other hand, prefer to hold the elections before April 6, DW said, since amendments to the election law, which are expected to negatively affect them, will go into effect on that date.

The development comes after Erdoğan repeatedly brushed aside rumors of a snap poll in the economically battered country, rejecting calls from opposition parties to that end.

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