General Election Polls Open in TurkeyWorld | June 12, 2011, Sunday // 10:10| views
Turkey`s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the announcement of his ruling Justice and Development Party`s (AKP) election manifesto in Ankara, Turkey in April 2011. EPA/BGNES
Turkish people are going to the polls Sunday to vote in general elections, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) seeking a third term in office.
According to latest surveys, AKP has a comfortable 42% to 50% of the vote.
If AKP manages to secure full majority by having over two thirds - more than 376 seats in the 550-member Parliament, Erdogan's party can introduce a new Constitution without the need of a referendum and negotiations with the opposition.
The current Constitution would not allow the PM to run for a fourth term in 2015.
The conservative AKP is centering its campaign around the strong economic growth, lower unemployment, a more assertive foreign policy, and not at the last place – Erdogan's personal charisma.
The main challenger is the secular Republican People's Party (CHP).
Under its new leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the party abandoned its image as a supporter of state and military intervention in politics, and is running as a backer of European social democratic values.
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