Election results and aftermath

Published 10.06.2015 00:37

It cannot be suggested that the electorate does not care about stability, but it is obvious that they are bothered by a stability that will be established on an unfair basis

Although the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) emerged safe and sound from the March 30 local election, which was the first part of a three-election marathon, and won the Aug. 10 presidential election in the first round in 2014, it faltered in Sunday's parliamentary elections. In the local elections the ruling party received 44 percent of the vote in a chaotic election atmosphere where corruption claims and speculations about the party's affiliation with al Qaida prevailed over the agenda. However, it took 41 percent of the vote one year later despite running in much more "favorable" conditions. Considering that the vote for the party reached almost 50 percent in the 2011 parliamentary elections, the decrease of 9 percent needs to be elaborated on and I will address it in the next column.

The election results give an opportunity to make several basic analyses. First, the representative power of Parliament has reached its highest level in our political history as the electorate that could not achieve representation in Parliament is around only 5 percent. This implies that Parliament might have a superior function and significance to the executive power in the upcoming period. Second, no party achieved enough votes to form a government alone and the balance that has emerged reveals that it will be rather difficult to form a majority government in the upcoming days. Therefore, we had better prepare ourselves for a Parliament that has now more power to form and dissolve a government. Third, it is seen that entirely instrumental and illegitimate methods, such as the 10 percent election threshold, are no longer approved by Turkey's electorate. It cannot be suggested that the electorate does not care about stability, but it is obvious that they are bothered by a stability that will be established on an unfair basis. Fourth, the AK Party won this election as well, and it would be quite natural if it wins the next few elections. This is the first time that the AK Party has paid for its mistakes. Additionally, it had to struggle with a broad and assertive anti-AK Party coalition. Yet still, its voting rate did not drop to around 35 percent as some expected. It would be realistic to expect that the AK Party might have received around 45 percent of the vote had it not made the mistakes in question. Fifth, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has become a key party that will determine the possibilities of the upcoming period.

This picture reveals four coalition government possibilities or early elections, the results of which will not differ much. As far as the election atmosphere is concerned, a coalition of the MHP and the Republican People's Party (CHP) seems plausible. This coalition, which is expected to be supported by the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) from outside the government, is highly likely to be encouraged by the West. However, it is obvious that such a situation will not last long and will lead the country to an early election. So, what are the benefits of such an alternative? Of course, the rearrangement of bureaucracy and the desire to foil the AK Party through the judiciary. Therefore, the AK Party will strive to prevent such a possibility and want to create its own alternative. A coalition of the AK Party and HDP does not sound realistic, as opposed to what is dreamed by many. This is because the AK Party has completely lost its confidence in Kurdish politics. In the case of such cooperation, the HDP's conscious "impertinence" might cause the AK Party to lose more votes. A coalition of the AK Party and CHP would be ideal in terms of political legitimacy, but the CHP's wish and position on fundamental issues is not so clear. It is likely that the phase of forming a government will turn into a back-breaking process at the end of which a coalition is unlikely to be formed. It should also be noted that the CHP has become much more addicted to its mission to overthrow the AK Party government. All that is left is a coalition of the AK Party and MHP, which is the most natural cooperation in ideological, sociological and cultural aspects. MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said they would not lean toward this idea, but this does not have a meaning that goes beyond maximizing the party's bargaining power. In exchange for having a place in the bureaucracy again, the MHP will be glad to give implicit support to a number of topics and to represent the state again while doing it. For now, the realistic perspective suggests that the AK Party will remain in power during the transition period.

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