Corruption allegations will not influence election results, expert says

FATIH ŞEMSETTIN IŞIK @semssami
ANKARA
Published 02.06.2015 16:20
Updated 02.06.2015 16:31

With less than a week remaining until the parliamentary elections, academics stress that good performance in the economy rather than populist pledges in electoral campaigns is what is rewarded by the electorate and corruption allegations are far from having an impact on election results in Turkey.

The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) organized a panel on Saturday in Istanbul with the participation of Ali Akarca, a professor in the Department of Economy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The panel "Predictions on June 7 Election Results in Light of Economic Data" was moderated by the SETA Istanbul economy director.

Akarca spoke of the impact of the electorate on the cost and advantages of power with his econometric modeling and predicted that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) might receive a rate higher than it received in the previous general elections. "Electors seek their economic interests and vote for a party they believe represents their world view. They also show a tendency to vote for the same party that they preferred in previous elections," he said.

He also said that voters evaluate governments in accordance with their performance in the economy, and said: "If the performance in the economy is good, that government is rewarded. If it did not do a good job in economic performance, the electorate punishes the government."

Akarca claimed that corruption allegations do not influence voting behavior, and said: "Having an influence depends on the credibility of the allegations, including more than one party going bad, of that administration that is accused and most importantly, having a clean and capable alternative."

Explaining that the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) having the potential to pass the electoral threshold depends on having good mobilization, Akarca said these elections are more crucially important for strategic voting. "Since the HDP entered the elections as a party, strategic voting has become much more significant," he said.

Previously, Akarca predicted the percentage of votes for the winning party of parliamentary elections that took place in 2007 and 2011 as well as the 2009 and 2014 local elections.

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