The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will continue to make adjustments for the new executive presidential system after the 2019 elections, deputies from both parties have said.Speaking at a panel organized by the Political, Economic and Social Research Foundation (SETA) in Ankara yesterday, AK Party Istanbul deputy and the head of the Constitutional Committee in Parliament, Mustafa Şentop, and MHP Deputy Secretary-General Mustafa Kalaycı said that the two parties will not stop working on adjustment laws after the 2019 elections and will continue to try to best form the new system.
"Regulating the election threshold, a new electoral law and new political parties' law will be handled after 2019. It is appropriate to realize these in a process," Şentop said. Kalaycı said that Turkey is going through an essential system change: "Since radical regulations to be made on different issues at the same time would create trouble together, handling the political parties' law and electoral law will be after 2019."
The two parties recently formed a National Agreement Committee to work on adjustment laws and the alliance bill. Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül, Şentop, and AK Party spokesman Mahir Ünal represented the AK Party on the committee and Kalaycı, lawmaker Mehmet Parsak from Afyonkarahisar province and Istanbul province Deputy İsmail Faruk Aksu represent the MHP. Parliament passed the alliance bill earlier this week.
Kalaycı also said that the MHP wants the executive presidential system to be implemented and function essentially and accurately. Şentop and Kalaycı touched on criticism of the bill weakening election safety, as well. In the face of growing criticism from the Republican People's Party (CHP) and other parties, Şentop and Kalaycı said that their arguments are ignorant and do not reflect the truth.
Commenting on the recent rumors in the media that the MHP does not want the Great Union Party (BBP) in the People's Alliance, which is what the AK Party and MHP uses to call their electoral alliance, Kalaycı said that MHP and BBP are "sister parties.""The BBP is in fact a party that split from the MHP. The statements we make are distorted. There is a possibility that small parties cannot have seats if they enter the elections [alone]," Kalaycı said, referring to MHP Deputy Chairman Semih Yalçın's statement that the BBP can only be in the People's Alliance if they enter the elections on the AK Party's list. Kalaycı also said that any party that is suitable can enter the People's Alliance after talks with the AK Party and MHP. "All parties we can come to terms with can be in it," he said.
AK Party to send a high-level delegation to MHP congress
The AK Party will send a high-level delegation to the MHP 12th ordinary congress this weekend.
According to AK Party sources, the delegation will consist of Deputy Chairman of the party Hayati Yazıcı, Deputy Group Chairman Naci Bostancı and Parliament's Constitution Committee head Mustafa Şentop. This will be the highest-level AK Party delegation ever to join the MHP congress since the AK Party was founded in 2001.
At the congress, current MHP head Devlet Bahçeli is expected to become the sole candidate to run for the party chairmanship. In the run-up to the 12th ordinary congress, the MHP completed its provincial and district congresses. It has announced the slogan for this year's congress which stresses the MHP's long-standing view on nationalism.
Commenting ahead of the ordinary congress, MHP Chair Bahçeli said it was a "democratic opportunity" and will contribute to the "clarification of the strategic preparations, political objectives and policies to follow for the 2019 elections."