Nationalist BBP to join AK Party-MHP alliance for upcoming elections

Nationalist BBP to join AK Party-MHP alliance for upcoming elections

DeputyPrime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said yesterday that the Great Union Party (BBP) will join the alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the upcoming elections, but gave no details.

"Mustafa Destici, the chairman of the BBP, has said that his party will join the alliance. Now, it is early to talk about how it will take place. When its times comes, the issue will be discussed," Bozdağ said in a televised interview. Destici recently announced that his party will join the alliance. He also said the decision "is welcomed by the public" and that the AK Party-MHP-BBP alliance will easily win the elections.

MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said in early January that his party will support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential election and act in accordance with the "Yenikapı spirit," referring to the rally that took place in Yenikapı square in Istanbul on Aug. 7 with the participation of all political leaders, except for those from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), and which has been considered a symbol of political consensus following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Meanwhile, there have been claims that the MHP joined the alliance as it has concerns over whether it can surpass the 10 percent election threshold, although AK Party Vice Chairman Hamza Dağ has rejected them. "As the chairman of the research and development department, I have been conducting the surveys. The president has no problem reaching 50 percent of the vote and the MHP does not face a threshold problem," Dağ said in Isparta Sunday.

Dağ said the alliance was not initiated to gain the required percentage of votes. He said the AK Party-MHP alliance is not an election alliance but an alliance of process, referring to the similar perspectives of the two parties on various issues. As the MHP and AK Party have finalized alliance talks and submitted a 26-article bill to Parliament last week, the bill will be discussed in the chamber's Constitutional Committee this week. The bill was signed by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Bahçeli.

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