Turkey's parliamentary opposition in disarray

Published 26.07.2018 23:56

Turkey's opposition parties forged an elections alliance called the "Nation Alliance" with the aim of putting an end to the rule of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They aimed at winning a parliamentary majority but ended nowhere as the results of the June 24 elections showed Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its ally the conservative Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) together win the majority of seats.

The Nation Alliance has since collapsed. But so have the parties that brought the alliance together.

The leading group in the alliance, the Republican People's Party (CHP), led by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, did badly in the elections winning only 21 percent of the votes. The party's candidate in the presidential elections Muharrem İnce did much better than the CHP winning 31.1 percent of the votes opposed to Erdoğan's massive 52.5 percent of the votes. Thus Muharrem İnce emerged as the moral "leader" of the CHP.

The picture was clear. Muharrem İnce managed to win votes that Kılıçdaroğlu never managed to grab for the CHP. Thus the grassroots of the party and most of its electorate started demanding the resignation of Kılıçdaroğlu with İnce to replace him.

But Kılıçdaroğlu refused to accept failure and rejected any suggestion of him quitting. On the contrary, he has challenged the supporters of İnce to put together more than 640 signatures of convention delegates and convene an extraordinary convention to dethrone him.

Kılıçdaroğlu is simply displaying the characteristics of a dictator as the strongman of the CHP… He is stuck to the seat of chairmanship despite the fact that over the years he has lost every election and referendum vote which totals nine polls.

The CHP electorate, its supporters in the media and most of the die hard CHP supporters are demanding Kılıçdaroğlu to "go" while he simply turns a deaf ear to their calls and says "I am here to stay" in a defiant manner. Kılıçdaroğlu relies on the fact that the convention delegates are all his handpicked people and even if İnce manages to convene a convention he may fail to unseat the chairman.

So the CHP is in no mood to shoulder its responsibility as a leading opposition party.

Then comes the Good Party (İP) of Meral Akşener, which was also a dismal failure in the polls. Akşener as a presidential candidate won even less than her party and she has lost on all fronts. She is not a deputy thus she is put of the Parliament and her loss in the presidential vote has seen the myth around her evaporate.

The İP has won seats in Parliament but Akşener cannot lead it in parliamentary sessions. Thus she has landed with a serious political disadvantages and has been the target of strong criticism by the party rank and file at a meeting over the weekend, which forced her to declare the party will hold a new convention and she will not be running as a candidate to become chairperson.

There are pleas for Akşener to reassess her position and lead the party but she says her decision is final. Thus the İP is in total disarray and cannot shoulder the task of acting as the second largest opposition party in Parliament.

So these were the two parties that people opposed to Erdoğan and hoped to put an end to his rule and lead Turkey after June 24. They all must be very disappointed not only because Erdoğan did not fail, but because the people they supported cannot even run their own parties in opposition, let alone run Turkey.

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