Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is reportedly interested in holding Turkey’s national elections in May as planned, despite the recent earthquakes that claimed the lives of almost 50,000 people and devastated the southeastern part of the country.

Erdoğan’s government is facing intense domestic criticism for its slow and inefficient response to the most lethal earthquake in Turkey’s modern history, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Feb. 6, which was followed by a 7.5-magnitude quake nine hours later.

Erdoğan, visiting the southern province of Osmaniye, between hard-hit Gaziantep and Antakya (Antioch), vowed to hold individuals accountable for the massive death toll and to prioritize a quick rebuilding of damaged infrastructure.

“It is our duty to hold the wrongdoers accountable before the law,” he said.

The Erdoğan government has no plans to postpone the upcoming elections, however. Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party and an Erdoğan ally, also stated that the elections would be held as planned.

“We won’t run away from the ballot box or disregard democracy,” said Bahçeli.

He accused the political opposition of being “obsessed and delusional” concerning a potential postponement of the elections.

Convinced that Erdoğan and his political allies would emerge as winners in the elections, Bahçeli warned the opposition that “Turkey … will bury you at the ballot box soon.”

Kazim Tayci, chairman of IHBIR, the Istanbul Cereals, Pulses, Oil Seeds and Products Exporters’ Association, warned on Tuesday that Turkey is losing production capabilities, mainly with large numbers of people leaving the regions most affected by the earthquake.

“The main loss in production is from people leaving the region,” Tayci told the state-controlled Anadolu Agency.

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