The general and presidential elections in Turkey may be postponed from May 14 to June 18 because of the devastating earthquakes in the southeast of the country, the leader of Turkey's opposition Good Party, Meral Aksener, said on Friday.
On Monday, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake with several powerful aftershocks, followed by another earthquake, hit parts of Turkey and Syria, toppling thousands of homes. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was the most powerful quake since 1939. According to the latest data, the death toll in Turkey has reached 18,342, while over 74,000 have been injured.
"I don't think the elections will be held on May 14, but I think they will be postponed to June 18," Aksener was quoted as saying by Turkey's Duvar newspaper.
In late January, Erdogan said that the general election in the country was scheduled for May 14, a month earlier than originally planned. Turkish media reported that in order to hold the election on that date, the decision must be announced 60 days in advance, so the president may announce the exact date of the elections on March 10.
Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party and the ruling Justice and Development Party have supported Erdogan as their single candidate. Six opposition parties have also agreed to nominate a common candidate but have not announced a name yet.
On Wednesday, media reported that despite the earthquake, Erdogan intended to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14.