Pivotal presidential election in Türkiye
May 10, 2023 - May 14, 2023 - As Türkiye votes for president and parliament, “Table of Six” opposition leaders are focused on a deep economic crisis, sky-high inflation and the aftermath of catastrophic earthquakes that killed 50,000 people.
The state of Türkiye’s economy and the massive damage caused by February’s earthquakes has dominated the election campaign -- three months later, nearly 2.7 million quake survivors are still living in tents. The presidential and parliamentary votes will decide who leads the country of almost 85 million and where it heads next.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 69, presides over an increasingly authoritarian regime that is intolerant of criticism.
His primary challenger is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, 74, of the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP). Kılıçdaroğlu is the unity candidate of the Nation Alliance -- or so-called Table of Six -- which pledges to reverse many of Erdoğan’s policies, including his all-powerful executive presidency established in 2018 when he abolished Türkiye’s parliamentary system.
The six parties making up the opposition Nation Alliance include Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP, Good Party (İYİ), Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), Felicity Party (SP), Democrat Party (DP) and Future Party (GP).
The opposition has also attacked alleged government mismanagement for failing to enforce building codes in hard-hit east Türkiye.
In the presidential election, held every five years, any candidate who wins over 50% of votes in the first round is elected president. If no one secures a majority, the election goes to a runoff -- due on May 28 -- between the two leading candidates.