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Article Turkey: Supreme Election Board Publishes Final List of Presidential Candidates

On March 31, 2023, a decision of Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (SEB) determining the final list of candidates for the upcoming presidential election was published in the Official Gazette. The SEB is the constitutional body responsible for regulating and supervising all public elections in the country under article 79 of the Constitution of Turkey.

The first round of the presidential election will take place on May 14, 2023. If no candidate gets a majority of the votes, a runoff election will be held on May 28, 2023, between the two candidates who have received the most votes in the first round.

The following persons, in alphabetical order, have been declared as candidates for president of the republic:

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan, incumbent president of Turkey and leader of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, AKP).
  • Muharrem Ince, leader of the Homeland Party (Memleket Partisi).
  • Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP).
  • Sinan Ogan, member of the parliament.

According to article 101 of the Constitution and articles 7 and 8 of the Law on Presidential Elections, political parties that have a parliamentary group (the formation of which requires at least 20 members of the parliament) and parties that individually or collectively have won at least 5% of the votes in the previous parliamentary elections may nominate candidates for president. Any person eligible for the office may also be nominated by a written application signed by 100,000 eligible voters. (Law on Presidential Elections art. 8/A.)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was nominated jointly by the parliamentary groups of the governing AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (Milliyetci Hareket Partisi, MHP), which provides the AKP with support in the parliament. While the AKP and the MHP do not constitute a coalition government (a concept that has been obsolete under Turkey’s new presidential system since 2017), they are entering into the parliamentary elections (which will take place simultaneously with the first round of the presidential election) as part of the electoral alliance “the People’s Alliance.” Article 12/A of the Law on Parliamentary Elections permits parties to enter parliamentary elections as part of an “electoral alliance.” Parties that are part of the same electoral alliance enter the elections under their own names, but their votes are combined for the purposes of the electoral threshold, which is 7% of the national vote.

Kemal Kiliçdaroglu was nominated jointly by the parliamentary groups of the CHP and the Good Party (Iyi Parti, IP), which are the opposition parties with the largest and third largest representation in the parliament, respectively. (The opposition party with the second largest parliamentary representation is the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).) The CHP and IP are part of the electoral alliance “the Nation Alliance.”

Muharrem Ince and Sinan Ogan each submitted the signatures of at least 100,000 voters to qualify for the election. Nine other candidates for nomination failed to submit at least 100,000 signatures to the electoral authorities by the deadline of March 27, 2023, and thus were not included in the final list of candidates.

The SEB had published the tentative candidate list on March 28, with the list being open to challenges until March 29. In its decision determining the final list, the SEB stated that all challenges made to the tentative candidates were rejected.

Kayahan Cantekin, Law Library of Congress
April 13, 2023

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Chicago citation style:

Cantekin, Kayahan. Turkey: Supreme Election Board Publishes Final List of Presidential Candidates. 2023. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2023-04-12/turkey-supreme-election-board-publishes-final-list-of-presidential-candidates/.

APA citation style:

Cantekin, K. (2023) Turkey: Supreme Election Board Publishes Final List of Presidential Candidates. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2023-04-12/turkey-supreme-election-board-publishes-final-list-of-presidential-candidates/.

MLA citation style:

Cantekin, Kayahan. Turkey: Supreme Election Board Publishes Final List of Presidential Candidates. 2023. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2023-04-12/turkey-supreme-election-board-publishes-final-list-of-presidential-candidates/>.