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Erdoğan ally says Turkey might hold elections in late May

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The leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has proposed holding presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for June, in May, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

MHP chairman Devlet Bahçeli said at a party meeting on Tuesday that parliament should discuss the issue and reach a consensus about holding the elections in May.

“Let’s get it [the elections] done in May,” he said.

President Erdoğan, who until December ignored calls from opposition parties to hold the elections earlier, has  recently softened his stance, with some in his party talking about holding the elections earlier than scheduled.

For parliament to call early elections, a majority of votes — 360 — is needed. Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has 286 seats in parliament, while the MHP has 48, thus necessitating the support of opposition parties to pass the measure.

Opinion polls show support for the AKP and MHP in a downward trend, falling to as low as 37 percent from more than 50 percent.

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