Turkey’s president announces a “re-run election,” and says voters better get it right this time

If at first you don’t succeed…
If at first you don’t succeed…
Image: EPA/Justin Lane
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Let’s try this again! Six months after the last election, Turks will return to the polls to vote again. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the snap election today (Aug. 22), with Nov. 1 as the likely date.

Erdogan, whose party lost its majority in parliament after the June 7 vote, dubbed the poll a “re-run election.” Ahmet Davutoglu, prime minister of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, was unable to find a coalition partner to form a government after the June election, and gave up earlier this week.

As Quartz has reported, Erdogan’s attempt to regain a parliamentary majority will rely heavily on the country’s new military engagements. Since the last election, Turkey has allowed American bombers to use Turkish bases to attack ISIL positions in neighboring Syria. Around the same time, the president has ordered attacks on the PKK, a Kurdish militant group, in northern Iraq.

Amid the political and military turmoil, Turkey’s economy is also suffering from a general downturn in emerging-market assets. Fear of a slowdown in China, interest-rate hikes in the US, and other ills have conspired to hit vulnerable economies hard, including Turkey’s.

The Turkish stock market is losing steam, and the steady decline of the lira during Erdogan’s long tenure as prime minister has turned into a rout since the autocratically-minded leader was forced to switch to president last year because of term limits. The Turkish currency has set a series of all-time lows against the dollar in recent weeks, and a renewed bout of pre-election volatility is unlikely to give the markets much confidence that things will turn around anytime soon.  

Image for article titled Turkey’s president announces a “re-run election,” and says voters better get it right this time