MHP calls for alliance with AK Party also in presidential elections

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli signaled that a possible alliance for the parliamentary elections might be carried into the presidential election as well, which would pave the way for "strengthening the candidate for presidency."

"If the parliamentary and presidential elections are to be held at the same time, the alliance that might be formed for the election of the parliamentarians would be reflected into the presidential election. In this case, if the votes in parliamentary elections are high, the chance of the candidate nominated by the alliance being elected president will be increased," Bahçeli said on Monday.

Commenting on the structure of the political alliance, the MHP chair stated that with an aim of getting a result that would provide stability, the alliances should have legal basis regardless of the election threshold. Bahçeli underlined that "during the referendum there were two blocs of ‘yes' and ‘no.' If there will be blocs again in the upcoming elections, it should be on a legal basis." He added that the priority for alliances should be that the parties keep their political identities and take their shares from the received votes.As the date for the elections nears, the political parties in Turkey have paced up their efforts for election preparations. The local elections are planned to be held in March 2019, while the parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for the same day on Nov. 3.

Ahead of the upcoming elections, the possible alliances between political parties have been widely discussed. Even though the fine details of the framework of the alliances remain vague, the leaders of the political parties signaled that the alliances would be on their agenda in order to gain 50 percent plus one vote. In this line, officials from both the MHP and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) pointed to the possibility of an alliance for the elections. While the MHP chair has been discussing his formula for the possible alliances, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not ruled out an electorate alliance as he stated that it might be considered.

Previously, top AK Party officials expressed their views regarding an alliance with the MHP. "We can go for an alliance with the MHP to provide the absolute majority with the most support possible," Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said. "We think alike with the MHP on many issues. Why would we not take joint action with a party with which we take joint steps on many issues? There is no obstacle to that."

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also had his say on the issue. Bozdağ said the electoral laws are actually not against alliances. "However, there may be a need to draw the lines of the alliance after Bahçeli's statements. One can dwell on this, on the alliances. … The way ahead for alliances should be cleared."

The MHP chair previously announced that his party would lend any support necessary for the adjustment laws to establish the new governmental system ahead of the elections. He stressed that the MHP would not be indifferent to developments in the face of growing political divisions or if the Republican People's Party (CHP) allies with the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and others against the change of governmental system. Responding to the MHP chair's statement that his party will stand with the ruling party, CHP party officials hinted that their party might also seek alliance for the elections.

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