The conservative Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has done it again. It has given its indirect support to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the election of its candidate İsmet Yılmaz as the speaker of Parliament. It has also dealt a blow to the dreams of the left-wing opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which was trying to forge an opposition bloc against the AK Party. But above all, MHP leader Devlet Behçeli penalized the CHP for failing to support its candidate for speaker Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu.
In the presidential elections last August the CHP and MHP united to declare a joint candidate, Ekmelleddin İhsanoğlu, against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AK Party. Erdoğan won the race with an impressive victory while İhsanoğlu managed to win the CHP and MHP votes. Then İhsanoğlu was elected as a deputy on the MHP ticket on June 7 and became the party's candidate for the speakership. MHP leader Bahçeli feels that as İhsanoğlu was a joint candidate of the CHP and MHP in the presidential elections it would only be normal for the CHP to back İhsanoğlu now for the Parliament speakership. But that did not happen and thus Bahçeli declared early on Wednesday that in the fourth campaign of the speakership race - where only the AK Party candidate Yılmaz and CHP's Deniz Baykal competed - the MHP decided to cast empty ballots thus leaving Baykal with the support of the CHP deputies and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which was not enough to overcome the 258 votes from the AK Party.
Now we clearly see that the MHP and HDP, which are at the two extremes of the pole, will be casting the deciding votes on all crucial issues from now on.
If the elections of the speaker of Parliament are any indicators, the theory that this would show what shape the future coalition will take only shows that there is no coalition on the horizon. Those speculating before were saying that if the AK Party agreed to a coalition with the CHP or the MHP it would agree about their candidates becoming speaker and thus would then have the seat of the prime minister in return. But now it is clear that no such thing will happen.
People have said the fact that the MHP decided to cast empty ballots and thus help the AK Party with the speakership of Parliament, Bahçeli was giving the green light for a coalition with the AK Party. That seems to be a mistaken analysis. In the same speech on Wednesday while addressing MHP deputies, Bahçeli clearly told them that the peace and reconciliation process with the Kurds should be terminated in all forms, four former AK Party ministers who were implicated in a corruption scandal should be brought to justice and that the president - who he said is still continuing to violate the constitution by getting involved in party politics - should be pacified. Can the AK Party agree to any of these terms? Can the AK Party agree to turn its back on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or allow its former ministers to be sent to court? Can the AK Party end the peace and reconciliation process with the Kurds and set the stage for another bout of bloody events with the PKK?
Some observers have started talking more about early elections than setting up a coalition government. With the AK Party managing to win the seat of the speaker of Parliament it is now clear that there will be little motivation for the parties and any real intention among their leaders to forge a coalition.