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Turkey: Erdogan Calls Snap Election for June; Lira, Stocks Rally -

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called elections a year earlier than scheduled, moving to consolidate his one-man rule of the region’s largest economy.

The vote will complete the transformation of the political system, eliminating the prime minister’s job and weakening the role of parliament. Turkish markets rallied after Erdogan’s announcement in Ankara that the country will go to the polls June 24 to pick a president, almost certainly ratifying his hold on power.

“In calling an early election, Erdogan must feel confident he and his AK Party have the necessary numbers to achieve victory," said Paul Greer, a London-based portfolio manager at Fidelity International. "That itself should reduce market uncertainty."

Erdogan’s ruling party has never called early elections in the nearly 16 years it’s been in power, and repeatedly rejected speculation that it’d call them this year. Many analysts had predicted an early vote nonetheless, saying a deteriorating economic outlook and fighting in neighboring Syria would prompt him to move up the date rather than risk re-election in a downturn.

Erdogan, who defeated an attempted coup in 2016, has stoked nationalist fervor since launching an incursion into Syria in January, playing the same card as other strongmen, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

“It has become a necessity for Turkey to overcome uncertainties as soon as possible amid developments of historical importance in our region as well as the cross-border operation we’re carrying out in Syria,” Erdogan said in announcing the vote.

Read more: Erdogan Calls Snap Election for June; Lira, Stocks Rally - Bloomberg

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