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Turkey votes: Part III – President Erdoğan – A foregone conclusion? 10 juillet 2014

Posted by Acturca in Turkey / Turquie.
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Commentary (European Policy Centre) 10 July 2014

by Amanda Paul *

On 1 July, after months of speculation, Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced he would run in the country’s first direct presidential elections on 10 August. Erdoğan, who has dominated Turkish politics for over a decade, is viewed as the clear favourite. With current polls suggesting he could take as much as 52% of the vote, an outright victory in the first round is possible.

His main rival, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, is very much the underdog. Until recently, an international diplomat with no experience in politics, he is the joint candidate of Turkey’s two main opposition parties, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Selahattin Demirtaş, the Co-Chairman of the Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) is also in the race, but is not expected to make it into double digits. The Kurdish vote however, could prove to be crucial if the ballot goes to a second round on 24 August. With Erdoğan wanting to increase Presidential powers, the stakes are high. With his belief in majoritarian rule, and increasingly authoritarian style of governance there has been an erosion of democracy and civil liberties. Many observers fear this trend may increase.

* Amanda Paul is a Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre (EPC).

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