Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in a position of strength ahead of the second round of the presidential elections

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in a position of strength ahead of the second round of the presidential elections

It was said that he was exhausted by force and weakened politically. Despite public discontent fueled by a Turkish economy in chronic crisis and an administration that came under fire for the twin earthquakes in February, Recep Tayyip Erdogan On the upvote ballot ahead of the second round of the presidential election, which will take place on May 28.

The outgoing president did more than resist Kemal KellyagainstDaroglu, his rival from a diverse six-party coalition and backed by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, Since the voters put it, May 14thin the lead after the first round of voting.

With 49.51% of the vote, against 44.88% for his opponent, Reese, whom some Turkish pollsters still vowed to defeat in the first round a few weeks ago, they will return to the campaign with their lead and even potential vote reserves.

So even if its champion, in power since 2003, is him They had to play an unprecedented second round in the country, Morale is high in Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s camp. “I sincerely believe that we will continue to serve our people for the next five years,” the head of state confidently let out into the night before his supporters..

Erdogan’s advantage?

Undoubtedly, confidence is inflated by the initial results Legislative elections are organized on the same day Which provides a parliamentary majority for the ruling coalition, The Justice and Development Party and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party.

According to experts, these results may give Recep Tayyip Erdogan a decisive advantage before the second round and push him into the election campaign. against the prospect of coexistence in these times of crisis. stability against the unknown.

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“The games remain open before the second round of the presidential elections knowing that Turkish politics are full of surprises,” said Samim Akgünül, historian and political scientist, director of the Department of Turkish Studies at the University of Strasbourg. “For the first time, Erdogan finds himself in a semi-failure situation, as he will have to represent himself in front of the voters during the second round. This is a success for the opposition, but a cunning success.

According to Samim Akgünül, the majority obtained in parliament will be an important asset for the outgoing president’s camp. And he adds, “We remember that when he came to power, Erdogan criticized in his speeches the government alliances responsible, according to him, for all crises, and emphasized that it is better to have a stable system.” He would certainly use the same argument to criticize the possible coexistence in the event of a triumph KellyagainstDaroglu, and perhaps the voters will hear him.”

An opinion shared by Bayram Balsi, researcher at CERI-Sciences-Po in Paris and former director of the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA). The population will be asked, [lors de l’entre-deux-tours], to show symmetry in order to avoid a kind of Turkish-style coexistence. Therefore, there is a good chance that whoever wins parliament within two weeks, during the second round of the presidential elections, will benefit from it.

Resigned opposition?

For its part, the opposition is still trying to believe in its chances of offering an alternative to Turkey. Kamal KellyagainstDaroglu did not give up and was optimistic, saying he was confident of winning the second round.

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“We fear that there will be some kind of resignation and destiny spreading through the ranks to The opposition says to itself that in the end there is nothing to do against Erdogan, who, if he wins within two weeks, will remain in power for another five years.

“The dynamic is clearly in favor of the outgoing president because the opposition really seemed to be throwing all its forces into the fight to win the first round,” said Ludovic de Foucault, France 24’s Turkey correspondent. “But she failed, and the idea that if she didn’t win in the first round, she wouldn’t win at all, ended up creeping into the minds of the Turks,” he said.

Towards negotiations with Sinan Ogan, who has the only reserves of votes

Even mathematically, there is little hope of seeing the opposition candidate catch up. He adds, “We see that Erdogan’s electoral base remains solid, even if the campaign is very unfair – the state apparatus has been devoted to propaganda for the alliance of the established regime,” The heart of Akgünül. “A phenomenon that will be repeated for the first time in Turkey’s history during the interval between the two rounds.”

“The opposition does not have many cards to turn the tables in their favour,” says Bayram Balsi. “She has done everything she can so far, a great job of uniting people and bringing them together, and she can’t, in my opinion, get past that. Except perhaps for real negotiations with Sinan Ogan, the third man in the election. It remains to be seen how and on what basis.”

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The fate of the two men will depend in part on the voting instructions of the ultra-nationalist Sinan Ogan, who won 5.2% of the vote in the first round. “Sinan Ogan, who represents the only group of votes, will negotiate hard for the 5% he got,” Samim Akgünül warns.

However, barring a political twist, the image of the third man leaves little room for doubt according to him perm balsey. “Sinan Ogan will be in some way the referee of the second round of the presidential elections. And he is able enough to get along with the current president to give him his support.

The former far-right MP maintains suspense about his intentions. He has, for now, been careful to announce whether he will support one of the two candidates still in contention.

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