(Istanbul) Struggling with an intestinal virus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put his electoral campaign on hold for the third consecutive day on Friday, sixteen days before presidential and legislative elections which promise to be disputed.

According to the program communicated by the Turkish Presidency, the 69-year-old Head of State will speak only by videoconference at the end of the afternoon from the presidential palace in Ankara for the inauguration of a bridge in Adana (South).

Mr. Erdogan, in power for 20 years, has canceled all his trips since Tuesday evening, including one for the highly anticipated inauguration of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.

The Turkish president was forced Thursday to intervene by videoconference for the opening of the Akkuyu power plant (South), seated and with drawn features, his first live appearance on television in nearly 48 hours.

” He is fine. The effects of his gastroenteritis have diminished. He wants to resume his program as soon as possible,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Thursday afternoon.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been forced on Tuesday evening to interrupt a live television interview, in the middle of a question from a journalist.

The head of state, pale in complexion, reappeared on the air a quarter of an hour later before cutting the interview short, explaining that he had caught a “stomach flu”.

The episode falls badly for the Turkish president, who intended to line up two to three daily rallies in the home stretch before the double ballot on May 14.

His main opponent, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, must chain two rallies on Friday, in Giresun (North-West) and Kocaeli (North-West).

At the head of a six-party alliance, Mr. Kiliçdaroglu is given a good position against President Erdogan by most polls.