Erdogan may cash in on economy steps with early election, analysts say -Breaking
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdan wave their national flags at a ceremony held in Istanbul (Turkey), November 5, 2021. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Birsen Alayli and Orhan Koskun
ISTANBUL (Reuters – Turkey’s President Tayyip Turkey has officially opened the doors to early elections. The announcements of a half-rise in minimum wages and a deposit protection scheme which stopped a currency crash, were made by political analysts.
These announcements were made within five days of one another as the currency crisis that ravaged the country reached its peak Dec. 20, when the lira plummeted to an unprecedented low of 18.4 per dollar. This was deeply disruptive for the economy and household.
Erdogan and high ranking officials in his ruling AK Party have denied that parliamentary and presidential elections could be held prior to the schedule of mid-2023.
The 2022 wage reduction and sharp turn in the lira, rallying to 12 dollars per dollar, suggest that Erdogan might want to take action soon after his long-term slide in opinion poll ratings.
Analysts believe his announcements are reminiscent of past pre-election strategies to show his leadership abilities. Snap polls could be a mistake for the opposition coalition which is still not in agreement on a presidential candidate.
Mehmet Ali Kulat, chair of MAK Consulting said that “the decisions have… given an impression that Erdogan and the AK Party are exceptional managers of the economic economy.”
Erdogan is a “last-minute” success story, said he. This process is going to be shown as the political leader that beat the dollar, disrupted international power relations.
The message’s impact will be determined by the direction of inflation and the effect they have on Turks whose spending power has been slashed.
Erdogan introduced a program to safeguard converted lira deposit against depreciation loss versus hard currencies in order to boost the currency.
This move was made possible by state-backed market interventions. It stopped a currency slide that Erdogan’s unconventional policy of cutting interest rates had caused despite the fact that inflation reached 30%.
However, the plan could lead to higher prices and increased fiscal debt in months ahead according economists.
Omer Taspinar is a Brookings Turkey expert and a professor at National Defense University. He said Erdogan “already follows election politics by increasing citizens’ buying power.”
He stated that “to stop the bleeding, the he literally indexed the value bank accounts in domestic currencies to the dollar” He said that all of these measures were intended to generate positive momentum ahead of the early election.
According to MetroPoll, Erdogan’s disapproval has risen to the levels it was last in 2015.
Another poll shows he will lose to some of the likely opposition candidates in a runoff.
Metropoll chairman Ozer Sencar said that the election economy was being implemented. He also added that fiscal support could be used to win over undecided AKP supporters.
He stated that Erdogan “the chief” can solve the problem and it will be popular. “I consider the election imminent. The valuation of the money received by people will cease to be meaningful three months later. Erdogan could lose if he waits for the election to take place in a year.
Erdogan rejected the idea that early polls might be held, as opposition leaders desire to reverse Erdogan’s economic “new program”, which focuses on low rates, credit and exports.
The election isn’t on the agenda. “It is scheduled for 2023,” an AKP official said to Reuters. He noted that the party’s morale has risen in Turkey and the AKP over the past week. There will be steps to relieve the suffering of other sections of society.
An additional senior AKP official claimed that long-term results of the steps would help to boost support.
The panic in the country is gone. “Now we will continue calmly to take the right actions,” said the official.