CHP deputy asks HDP to adopt softer tone on MHP to form coalition

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 16.06.2015 16:06

After main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that the three opposition parties should form a coalition government, CHP İzmir Deputy Mustafa Balbay called on pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş to "learn to knock on doors" with the Nationalist Movement Party to form a coalition government that excludes the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

"The duty to form a coalition rests on the 60 percent – the opposition bloc," Kılıçdaroğlu said. Urging other parties to announce their own points for forming a coalition, Kılıçdaroğlu said that they are not ignoring any political party. "We should think about Turkey, not the next election," he said.
According to the unofficial results of the 2015 parliamentary elections, the single-party government of the ruling AK Party has come to an end. The AK Party gained 258 seats in Parliament, below the threshold of 276, the bare minimum to retain a simple majority. Therefore, two different options await Turkey – a coalition government or a minority government.

If the AK Party cannot form a coalition with other parties, the CHP, MHP and HDP deputies have enough votes to form one, with a total of 292 deputies in Parliament. Such a scenario, although mathematically possible on paper, could be difficult to actualize, since the right-wing MHP's strongly nationalist ideology clashes with that of the pro-Kurdish HDP.

This would not be the first time in Turkish political history that different ideological groups formed a government. In 1999, the MHP came together with the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the center-right Motherland Party (ANAP). All three parties sacrificed some of their policies, but they saw the coalition government as a necessary step to prevent the military's increasing presence in politics. However unusual this coalition was, it managed to dodge two major earthquakes that devastated Turkey's industrial base, one major financial crisis due to the ailing economy and financial system, various political crises and foreign policy issues. The ill-famed coalition pushed through many important administrative and economic reforms on the EU accession agenda, which later benefited the AK Party's single-party governments.

This example shows that different ideologies can work under one goal even in very tough conditions, and with the current strength of Turkish democracy and the economy, an uneasy coalition can still work.

If no working coalition can be formed, or a minority government fails to win a confidence vote within 45 days, the Constitution gives President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the authority to call early elections. Early elections would have to be held 90 days later.

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