Political moves intensifying in quake-hit Turkey as elections near

Opposition lawmakers in Turkey are criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's response to the devastating earthquakes, with an eye on the upcoming presidential election.

The magnitude-7.8 earthquake on February 6 and subsequent tremors have left more than 50,000 people dead -- at least 44,218 in Turkey and 5,914 in Syria.

There is growing speculation that the disaster may force Turkey to delay the presidential and parliamentary elections planned for May.

Presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin told CNN on Thursday that it is the election administration commission that decides on whether to hold the elections as scheduled.

He said there are technical issues, including how to enable the more than 2 million people who have evacuated from their home towns to cast ballots. But he added that the vote is likely to go ahead in May if there is no opposition.

On Tuesday, President Erdogan revealed a plan to build 270,000 public housing units for quake survivors and pledged all-out efforts for reconstruction.

The deputy leader of Turkey's largest opposition Republican People's Party, Ali Oztunc, criticized the authorities for allowing the construction of buildings that did not meet quake-resistance standards.

Speaking to NHK on Friday, Oztunc said the elections should go ahead. He said the Erdogan administration needs to be removed as soon as possible. He said the opposition will win the elections by a large margin.