The Turkish head of state Erdogan wants to bring the elections forward and justifies the earlier date with “adjustment of the timetable”.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey for May 14, a month ahead of schedule. “I will use my authority… (to) bring the election date forward to May 14,” Erdogan said in a video released by his office at a meeting with young people in the northwestern city of Bursa over the weekend. Erdogan said it was “not an early election.”

The next parliamentary elections in Turkey were officially scheduled for June 18th. The Turkish head of state has now explained that an agreement has been reached with the right-wing junior coalition partner to adjust the schedule so as not to disrupt the dates for the school exams.

Erdogan had already expressed his intention to hold the election on this date last week to commemorate the day Turkey held its first free elections in 1950. The Turkish head of state has often compared himself to Adnan Menderes, a symbol of Turkey’s conservatives.

Erdogan is currently under immense pressure domestically, especially because of the economic crisis and the extremely high inflation rate. The opposition, which has almost completely formed an electoral alliance, hopes that the long-term president will be replaced.

Erdogan was prime minister from 2003 before becoming president in 2014. He is running again as a presidential candidate. In 2017, Erdogan introduced a presidential system in a constitutional referendum. The opposition has announced that it will return to a parliamentary system if it wins the elections.

A source from the opposition party told AFP last week that their joint candidate should be announced in February.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu from the largest opposition party, CHP, is considered a possible presidential candidate. However, in December he was sentenced to more than two years in prison and banned from politics, which could jeopardize his chances. The case is still on appeal. According to observers, the most likely scenario is that CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu will represent the opposition.