Opposition fails to adapt in new political climate

Published 28.07.2018 00:37

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) still cannot comprehend the changing realities in Turkey. With the major change in its governing system on June 24, a new era has launched in Turkish politics. However, the CHP has failed to adapt to these new balances. That's why it has started facing internal crises, such as the leadership conflict between Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Muharrem İnce. The party cannot generate solutions to overcome its domestic problems, instead it fuels them. In the new period in Turkey, political parties who lose elections will not be able to find a way to secure a presence as political alliances have now become inevitable. Also, naturally, if a party leader cannot get 50 plus one vote, he or she just needs to resign and leave his or her post. Accordingly, İnce, the biggest rival of Kılıçdaroğlu, who got more votes in the presidential elections than Kılıçdaroğlu's CHP, has called for a leadership change, but the CHP leader is resisting leaving. Rationally, a political party chairman should go to convention votes sooner or later since a political parties' future highly depends on their delegation's choices. So, Kılıçdaroğlu's strategy makes no sense. Despite Kılıçdaroğlu's efforts, the CHP, which has faced deep cracks in the party administration and base following the June 24 elections, won't be able to escape from a major structural chance.

Meanwhile, the June 24 elections have also shaped the future of other parties. In the new system, it can be clearly said that there are two main parties in Turkey: The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the CHP while there are also two subsidiary parties: the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

While there may be many changes in the next five years, it seems that the alliance between the AK Party and MHP will go on, while the CHP-HDP bloc will remain. In this equation, the CHP will also face many criticisms as its partner, the HDP, has not stopped its relationship with the outlawed armed group the PKK. As is known by all, the CHP supported the HDP in the June elections and that's why it was targeted even by its voters. In order to take an active role in politics, there are two options for the CHP: Either, it will start criticizing the HDP and walk alone or convince its ally to follow civil politics by leaving the PKK's tail.

Let's talk about what's going on in the Good Party (İP) whose leader has recently declared her resignation from the party chairmanship (to me, the İP leader Meral Akşener was late to declare it).In such a conjuncture, there is no place for parties such as the İP since they do not fill any gaps in the new Turkish politics. That's why the İP is crumbling nowadays in trying not to split away. There are three different groups in it: Those who like the MHP, those who hate the MHP and former center-right politicians. The MHP haters in the party will not return to the MHP and want to keep the İP alive since they wouldn't want the cancellation of the state funds. They know very well that the state's fund for the İP would be enough for them to maintain the presence of the İP for the next 5 years, until the next elections. Those who lean towards the MHP might come back for they know they will be welcomed by the MHP administration. However, no one knows how many they are or when they will come back.

The most desperate group in the İP, which may collapse any time, is the former center-right actors. It is said that their number is approximately 10. Some of them may participate with the AK Party, but there are also some claims that they may act as an independent group in the Parliament. In such a scenario, the picture in Parliament could be interesting. However, it may be a good opportunity for the betterment of the Parliament since it is a possibility that they can play a significant role by contributing to the Parliament's functioning and playing a milder approach between the ruling party and the opposition.

"24 hours is a long time in politics," I guess the quote by our late President Süleyman Demirel summarizes it all. Let's wait and see what will change or what will remain the same.

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