Millions of Turkish voters are proceeding towards significantly critical local elections today. They hold utmost importance as it emerges at times of grave economic crisis which pose a major threat to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regime. They mark the first electoral test of President Erdogan since he was re-elected in June 2018. Local elections will be exercised across 81 municipalities of turkey resulting in appointment of mayors and local officials. Furthermore these 57 million voters will elect members of councils and neighborhood heads of their choice for a period of 5 years.
At a time when country is facing sharp recession, inflation has skyrocketed to 20%, Turkey benchmark stocks index dropped more than 5% on Wednesday, and unemployment remained static on 11%. The economy has been struck hard since lira lost 40% of its value against US dollar last year. All these factors are enough to contribute in the worries of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development (AK).
Statistically Erdogan’s AKP is governing 49 out of 81 municipalities; however voters are very disturbed and angry over drastic unemployment, poor educational system, and inclined inflation. This cold shoulder by the voters along with strong united opposition might endanger Erdogan’s AKP grip over the major cities like Ankara and Istanbul.
In my perspective, in a highly polarized political landscape and sufficient media diet Turkish voters are quite aware and radical in their thoughts. They are unhappy and might topple Erdogan big ambitions by punishing him through these local polls. They believed to have never seen such am alarming downturn and economic turbulence before and therefore might give a chance to the opposition. And it is the first time the Party AKP is not confident about its success and there is believed to be a cutthroat competition between main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Justice and Development Party (AKP).
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