AK Party, MHP name members for joint committee to conduct alliance negotiations


The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have named their members for a joint committee to work on adjustment laws and shape the burgeoning alliance between the two parties for the 2019 presidential election.

AK Party spokesman Mahir Ünal, Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül and Constitutional Committee head Mustafa Şentop have been named as AK Party representatives for the alliance committee, while the MHP named deputies Mehmet Parsak, Mustafa Kalaycı and Faruk Aksu.

The AK Party and MHP will work on the details of the alliance the two parties recently decided to form. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcomed MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli's first step toward a political alliance, and it was announced the two parties would establish a joint alliance committee for the adjustment laws.

AK Party Deputy Chairman Hayati Yazıcı said yesterday that the formula of the political alliance would take form following negotiations in the alliance committee.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said yesterday that the MHP announced that it would support the AK Party whether there is an alliance or not. Yıldırım said that they favor that the "two parties go into elections together preserving their political identities."

Bahçeli announced on Monday that his party would not nominate a candidate for the 2019 elections and instead would support Erdoğan. He said that the underlying reason for this decision is that his party would act in accordance with the Yenikapı spirit, referring to the rally that took place in the Yenikapı district of Istanbul on Aug. 7 with the participation of all political leaders, except for those from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which is considered a symbol of political consensus following the July 15, 2016 failed coup.

Following Bahçeli's announcement, Erdoğan invited him to hold talks in the Presidential Palace complex. Presidential sources said that during the meeting between the two party leaders on Wednesday, which began at 4 p.m. and lasted about 35 minutes, Erdoğan thanked the MHP leader for his "national" stance and discussed the election alliance and the adjustment laws for the new system. AK Party spokesman Ünal recently said that the possible alliance between the parties would be a "national agreement" and the two parties would focus on the fine details in the upcoming days.

It has been reported that AK Party officials have been analyzing previous practices in the world for political alliances and are looking for the best option that would be applicable in Turkey.

Meanwhile, the MHP is entering a three-day camp to address issues on Turkey's agenda that will be held from Jan. 19-21 before its March 18 convention. The camp will be held in Kızılcahamam, and provincial heads will also meet there.

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