Davutoğlu content as CHP warms toward coalition with AK Party

AYŞE ŞAHIN
ISTANBUL
Published 26.06.2015 19:03
Updated 26.06.2015 21:21
PM Ahmet Davutoğlu, (C) and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (R) attending the 26th general congress of Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB).
PM Ahmet Davutoğlu, (C) and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (R) attending the 26th general congress of Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB).

With few options left on the table for a coalition before official negotiations begin, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu has winked at an alliance with the AK Party, softening his stance toward the party's long-time rival, a move welcomed by PM Davutoğlu

An exchange of mild and constructive remarks between the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, and interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has begun shaping the contours of a coalition after an alarming deadlock that emerged when no party thrashed out a solution to their rigid differences. The uncertainty that has been continuing since the June elections which gave no party sufficient power to lead alone is fading away with a positive atmosphere emerging between the AK Party and the CHP, following a slew of remarks by the latter that indicated an almost impossible alliance. The current temperate weather could be the first sign of a possible AK Party-CHP coalition that might leave behind their bitter rivalry. "We won't be revanchist," said Kılıçdaroğlu in what looks like a response to remarks by Davutoğlu on June 16 who said "this [forming a government] can't work with a revanchist mindset." He said his party could form a coalition with the AK Party – on condition that terms stipulated by the CHP are concurred – and that such a partnership could take Turkey to a higher plain.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu was not late to reciprocate Kılıçdaroğlu's mild approach when he said: "It is of much significance that he has expressed he is open to every idea, after his opposition bloc approach and while the [official coalition] talks draw nearer." He delivered his opinion on the matter following his party's Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Friday. During his speech he also announced the AK Party's candidate for parliament speaker, which is İsmet Yılmaz, current National Defense Minister.

"It is correct not to have a revanchist approach. I hope there are positive steps taken during our talks too. And I also hope the [Peoples' Democratic Party] HDP and the [Nationalist Movement Party] MHP adopt a similar attitude," Davutoğlu further said, adding that what Turkey needs is a government to rule in compromise instead of political tensions.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to a Turkish daily, Kılıçdaroğlu on Friday revealed that his party is open to forming a coalition with the AK Party, on condition that their 14 stipulations are served. He said the CHP and AK Party could reach a consensus within the framework of these conditions and vowed not to act vindictively while applying its de facto policies.

The partnership between the two political factions has thus far seemed highly unlikely due to deep contrasts in both ideology and principles, however some analysts have voiced positive views about the partnership of the two, claiming such a structuring will bridge the divided segments of the society."It would not be proper for us to say 'no way' with prejudice before Davutoğlu is tasked to convey us his intention and conditions. It [such an attitude] would not suit if [we consider] the culture of compromise as an integral part of democracy. Thereby, Davutoğlu has to tell us on what grounds, thoughts and purposes he wants to form a coalition with us," Kılıçdaroğlu said. He also reiterated the 14 conditions of his party, which varies from digging corruption claims to a demand that the president remains within the boundaries of his constitutional powers.Kılıçdaroğlu outlined the CHP's position and the points necessary to form a coalition in a press conference last week. He added a condition of an alternate Prime Ministry as well, as he stipulated the first run would be him. The stipulation of the Prime Ministry has been thought of as irrational by many, as the party has only preserved its proportion of votes compared to the previous 2011 elections. While the AK Party won just under 41 percent of the votes in the June 7 elections, the CHP received roughly 25 percent of the votes. But, taking into consideration his recent remarks, Kılıçdaroğlu for now seems to have given up that condition, to purportedly avoid depicting himself as a politician who is in pursuit of a rank, especially after he proposed the Prime Ministry to MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli to coax him into a partnership that excludes the AK Party.

Interim Prime Minister Davutoğlu will begin his tour to negotiate with parties over an alliance once he is assigned for the task by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Kılıçdaroğlu also said in the interview that it matters which party Davutoğlu will head to first. The CHP leader says it could reveal which party they attach importance to most.

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