AK Party not expected to sacrifice priorities to form coalition

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 08.06.2015 00:57
Updated 08.06.2015 01:00
emAFP Photo/em
AFP Photo

The ruling AK Party won the parliamentary election for the fourth time in row, but failed to secure an absolute majority after the pro-Kurdish HDP passed the 10 pct threshold. However, the AK Party is not expected to give up core priorities like the reconciliation process

The general elections held yesterday resulted in a hung parliament, with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) the clear winner, but unable to secure the absolute majority needed to form the government. The AK Party, which has governed the country since 2002, is unlikely to seek allies from the opposition to form a coalition because of the policy questions involved. The AK Party, which entered the elections with a platform based on a new constitution and a presidential system, is expected to not sacrifice its priorities to form a coalition.

Most pundits believe Sunday's election results will usher a period of political and economic uncertainty, to be followed by elections within the earliest time frame possible. Any possible coalition scenario is likely to compel the government to backtrack on major initiatives, for example the reconciliation process. Expressing his respect to the result of the election, AK Party chairman and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, "This nation's decision is the best decision. It is out of question to bow to any power."

The deputy chairman of Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Oktay Vural, said on Sunday it was too early for him to say whether it would consider forming a coalition government with the ruling AK Party. Partial results from a parliamentary election on Sunday showed the AK Party may be forced to form either a minority government or a coalition. The MHP has long been seen as its most likely potential partner. "It would be wrong for me to make an assessment about a coalition, our party will assess that in the coming period. I think the AK Party will be making its own new evaluations after this outcome," MHP deputy leader Vural said.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) surpassed the 10 percent election threshold required to enter Parliament, meaning the AK Party could face difficulties in making constitutional changes within Parliament, the unofficial election results showed.

Speaking after its election victory, HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş said his party "is now a party of the whole of Turkey," and extended his appreciation to all those who supported his party. Demirtaş ruled out a coalition with the AK Party and claimed that the results of a parliamentary election had put an end to discussion about a presidential system.After the HDP's victory, the party's deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder said the party is set to enter Parliament with 80 deputies, adding that the HDP's supporters should wait until the counting is finalized before celebrating.

During the pre-election period, the HDP adopted a democratic tone to expand its reach while addressing supporters in the western provinces. However, this too has been slammed by government officials who accuse Demirtaş of posing as an advocate of democracy on one side and backing the armed struggle of the PKK and fueling violence in the east on the other.

On the other hand, the MHP, due to its nationalist ideology, has announced in its election manifesto that the reconciliation process the government pursues with the PKK to end the Kurdish question would be halted if elected. The reconciliation process is among the core priorities of the AK Party government.The AK Party swept around 41 percent of the votes in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul in the elections. A high voter turnout of over 85 percent was reported in Istanbul during the general elections. Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) followed the AK Party with over 29 percent, while the MHP received over 10 percent of the votes. The HDP has also received over 10 percent of the votes in Istanbul, an unprecedented surge compared to the previous elections. The AK Party has lost about 8 percent of the votes compared to the 2011 general elections, while the CHP has lost 2 percent compared to the same year when they received 31 percent of the vote.

The AK Party received 41 percent in Istanbul's first electoral district and will be sending 14 deputies to Parliament, while the CHP has received 32 percent and will send 11 deputies to Parliament. In District II, the AK party received over 42 percent and will be sending 12 deputies, while the CHP will send eight, followed by three deputies from the HDP and MHP each. In District III, the AK Party received around 40 percent and will be sending 13 deputies to Parliament, followed by nine deputies from the CHP, five from the HDP and four from the MHP.

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