AK Party officials refute CHP claims of transferring deputies to achieve majority gov’t

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
Published 15.06.2015 15:23

As Turkey discusses potential scenarios following the recently held parliamentary elections, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Secretary-General Gürsel Tekin has made allegations in a local newspaper that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will transfer a minimum of 18 deputies from other parties in efforts to become the majority government. AK Party Deputy Chairmen Yasin Aktay and Süleyman Soylu refuted the allegations and claimed that "transferring deputies from other parties to its own through bribery is the work of a CHP mindset."

In the recent elections the AK Party gained 258 seats in Parliament, below the threshold of 276 seats, the bare minimum to retain a simple majority. Tekin claimed that the AK Party has monetary funds from Qatar and Azerbaijan, which would aid them in buying off deputies to become the ruling party once again. The local newspaper that published Tekin's claims, further reminded of the Güneş Motel incident in 1977. However, the motel incident in 1977 happened while the CHP ran the government under the chairmanship of Bülent Ecevit. Following the failure of the 40th government to receive a vote of confidence, three parties – the Justice Party (AP), National Salvation Party (MSP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – formed a coalition and called their government the Second Nationalist Front. The 1977 incident occurred following the collapse of the Second Nationalist Front where Ecevit had met with the deputies who had resigned from the AP to sway them into joining the CHP to become the majority government in the 1977 general elections. Negotiations with the former AP deputies were done at the Güneş Motel in Istanbul and allowed Ecevit to form the 42nd government, which was widely referred to as the "Motel Government."

Though Tekin made contradicting allegations about the AK Party performing such moves, referring to the CHP's political history, Soylu said that Turkey had experienced such moves not only in the 1960s, but during the coups of Sept. 12 and Feb. 28, as well as during the late 1970s with the motel incident. Underlining that the AK Party has principles, Aktay further said that the claims only reflect one's own world. Both deputy chairmen strongly dismissed the allegations and emphasized that "Turkey had experienced such dirty politics during the CHP era and that no one can pull the AK Party into such a mindset."

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has made it clear that the AK Party will look to form a coalition government first and foremost and then weigh other options, and stressed that the party is open to negotiations with the other parties. The main opposition CHP says it prefers a coalition that excludes the AK Party.

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