Turkish candidates hold final rallies before November 1 election
Final preparations were made at polling stations in Turkey and candidates held their last rallies Saturday, a day ahead of the country’s second national election in five months.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged supporters of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to vote Sunday, a rerun of Turkey’s June election. He voiced confidence that his party would emerge victorious.
The largest opposition party, the CHP, also held a rally.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for new elections after the AKP surprisingly lost its majority in the June election and Davutoglu failed to form a governing coalition with any of the three opposition parties represented in parliament.
It was the first time in 13 years that AKP had lost its single-party rule.
Pollsters predicted that voter turnout Sunday would likely be much higher than that for the June election and could be as high as 86 percent of the electorate.
The election could be decided if the AKP is able to reclaim electoral districts it lost in June by small margins in 38 of 81 provinces.
If there is another hung parliament, political parties will have 45 days to form a coalition government, with the AKP’s most likely bedfellows becoming the nationalist MHP or the secular CHP. If they fail again, another election could be called within three months — which would be the fifth in two years.
Turkey’s parliament, the Grand National Assembly, has 550 seats, 276 of which are needed for a majority.