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Erdogan calls Turkish elections for May 14, three months after quake disaster

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday officially set parliamentary and presidential elections for May 14, a month early and just three months after earthquakes that left millions homeless across southern Turkey, Reuters reports.

“Our nation will go to the polls to elect its president and parliamentarians on May 14,” Erdogan said in a televised speech after signing off the decision, little more than a month after the quakes killed almost 50,000 people in Turkey.

Erdogan said the elections had been brought forward because the planned date of June 18 date with university exams, summer holidays and travel to the Hajj pilgrimage.

On Monday, the six-party main opposition alliance named Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), as its candidate to challenge Erdogan for the presidency.

Erdogan said his campaign would focus on recovery after the earthquakes and would not use any music. All parliamentary candidates from his AK Party will have to make a “generous” donation to the earthquake fund of the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), he said.

A decree published in the Official Gazette said survivors of the earthquakes would retain their voting rights if they had moved, meaning they will be able to vote in the cities where they currently reside.

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