Noticias Mundiales

Municipal elections in Türkiye could draw the poster for the next presidential election

These municipal elections in Türkiye could decide the fate of the president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He nationalized the issue. He vowed on the evening of the presidential election, in May 2023, to take back Istanbul town hall from the opposition. It is his city, the one which served as his political springboard, the economic capital of the country too, a third of the GDP, a wealth which arouses envy. And besides, it is he, the president, who is leading the campaign here as in the rest of the country.

If his candidate fails to reconquer Istanbul, it will be interpreted as a personal failure of the president. And the outgoing mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu will take a serious option for the 2028 presidential election. If, on the other hand, the AKP candidate wins, Erdogan will have completed his control over the country, he who dominates the executive, commands the judiciary and whose party has the majority absolute in Parliament. The country will no longer have any counter-power to its anti-democratic drift, because the big cities are all that remains for the opposition.

Retirees are one of the keys to the vote

In Istanbul, which will in fact embody Erdogan’s failure or success, the landscape is less clear than in 2019 for the outgoing mayor. The opposition fractured after the failure of the presidential election and each party presented a candidate. However, the scattering of votes, if the battle is close, could cost Ekrem İmamoğlu. But for the AKP, this is not encouraging either, the economic crisis weighs more and more. His voters were hoping for an improvement after the presidential election, but this was not the case; poverty is exploding particularly among retirees who are one of the keys to the vote.

Retirees There are 16 million in Türkiye, almost a quarter of the electorate. So, in Turkey, some retirees are barely 50 years old, it is enough to have worked 20 years to qualify for a pension. But if we take those over 65, there are eight million of them and they represent the most disadvantaged category, with a basic pension which corresponds to half the hunger threshold. They are very angry with Erdogan who has not increased pensions despite his promises and could make him pay for it. Especially since they are courted by all parties, in particular a very conservative Islamist party which rises and hunts on the lands of the AKP. The balance of parties on the evening of these municipal elections between the president’s party, the secular opposition Republican Party and the new Islamist party will also say a lot about the face of Turkey for years to come.


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