Nation shows yellow card to AK Party

Published 08.06.2015 00:57
Updated 08.06.2015 18:20

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) won nearly 41 percent of the votes but despite the fact that it was the leading party in Sunday's elections it was the loser of the contest as it lost the majority in Parliament and has to either become a senior partner of a coalition government or convince a party to support it and form a minority government.

The other loser was the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, whose votes fell.

The major winner was the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP) that not only passed the 10 percent election threshold but won about 78 seats in Parliament, which cost the AK Party its majority. Analysts say the HDP managed to win votes from the former CHP supporters, but because it passed the threshold it also won the seats in southeastern Turkey that would normally go to the AK Party.

The ultra-conservative Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also increased its vote and won some votes from the AK Party in some central Anatolian cities.

So at the end of the day, the AK Party will try to find a coalition partner or secure the support of another party from the outside and run the country for the time being. A coalition between the opposition parties seems impossible as the HDP and MHP will never accept being bedfellows.

What is clear is that the presidential system promoted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be shelved as all the opposition parties have declared their open enmity to such a system.

What is important now is for the AK Party to analyze the election results in earnest and draw the necessary lessons from it. The AK Party has to realize that it still commands the support of a sizeable portion of the nation and remains the number one party of Turkey. Until now the intricacies of the election system and the fact that the pro-Kurdish politicians had to compete in the polls as independents gave the AK Party an advantage in the polls. This time the intricacies of the elections system helped HDP win more seats and thus dampen the AK Party's strength.

However, the fact that the AK Party lost about 7 percent of its traditional votes shows some dissatisfaction that has to be carefully studied. There is the fact that there is serious social dissatisfaction even among the AK Party supporters, the fact that some AK Party officials have become too arrogant and the worsening relations of the AK Party with the media have hurt the leading party.

Now we will see a lull in the peace process between the Turkish state and the Kurdish militants as the AK Party will be in no state to lead the meaningful process with the PKK.

We will also see the opposition challenging the legitimacy of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

At the end of the day we see a picture emerging in Turkey that will eventually lead to an impasse and thus early elections. We may again go to polls in the not too distant future. That means we have to change the Constitution, lift the 10 percent threshold and then hold elections.

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