By Sinan Uslu and Selma Kasap
Turkey’s prime minister on Wednesday said moves to hold planned early elections would start "immediately".
“The [planned election] process will start immediately. It should be submitted as a motion to parliament. It will be ratified by the commission, and later will be debated by the full parliament,” Binali Yildirim told reporters at the parliament in Ankara.
“The process has officially started,” Yildirim said, adding that a bill for early elections would be submitted to parliament today.
Earlier, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to hold early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.
He said that as the crisis in Syria accelerates, the election issue should be taken off the table.
“For this reason … we decided to hold elections on Sunday, June 24, 2018,” Erdogan said.
The announcement came after opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli -- whose party is set to enter the elections in an alliance with the AK Party -- called for early elections.
However, Turkish Supreme Election Board Chairman Sadi Guven said the country’s top election body was ready to perform its task.
“As of today, preparation for the election calendar has started, we will complete it in a day or two," Guven told reporters in Ankara.
He dismissed the notion that less than three months to prepare for an election was a short amount of time.
The Higher Board of Education has announced that it had postponed university entrance exams set for June 23-24 to June 30 and July 1 to avoid any scheduling conflict.