Power will not be handed over to opposition even if early elections are held, says Turkish foreign minister

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told an opposition lawmaker during budget talks in parliament on Monday that power will not be handed over to the opposition even in the event of an early election.

Çavuşoğlu made his comment in response to Ahmet Erozan, an MP from the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party, who told him to “save on the budget” since they will be the ones to manage it in the second half of 2021.

“What’s going on there? Did you set your hopes on Biden, too? There’s no [snap] election in the country. And you know that the [citizens] wouldn’t put you in power even if there were one. From whom will you assume power, exactly? Are you expecting a coup?” the minister said.

The exchange of words between Çavuşoğlu and Erozan came after multiple calls of early elections from Turkey’s senior opposition figures, who have accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in power since 2002, of poor governance.

Chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener, whose parties set up the Nation Alliance before the general election of 2018, called for a snap election during a joint news conference in late November.

Selahattin Demirtaş, a prominent Kurdish politician and former co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who has been behind bars since November 2016, also said during an interview with Deutsche Welle’s Turkish edition last week that an early election was Turkey’s only way out of the economic and social crises it was undergoing.

Critics have been complaining about the country’s one-man rule, particularly after the presidential system of governance went into effect in Turkey in 2018 under which Erdoğan was elected as the first president, enjoying vast powers.

The next elections in Turkey, which held a presidential and general election in June 2018, are scheduled for 2023.

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