AKP and MHP finalize work on electoral alliance ahead of 2019
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül on Feb. 14 said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have “completed work” on forming an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 presidential elections.
“We have completed our debates on the national consensus,” Gül told reporters at parliament in Ankara.
The AKP and the MHP held their first official meeting to discuss a possible electoral alliance on Jan. 18.
Gül said representatives of the committee from both parties will brief the leaders of their respective parties about developments. “After that, we will wait for the leaders to come together,” he added.
On Jan. 8, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli announced that his party would support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the 2019 presidential elections rather than field a presidential candidate of its own.
Ahead of the controversial referendum on shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system in April 2017, the two parties both campaigned in favor of the sweeping package of changes.
In the referendum, voters narrowly approved the changes tightening the president’s grip on power and eliminating the post of prime minister.
The MHP has also fallen into line with the AKP on a number of foreign policy issues, particularly since the July 2016 military coup attempt.
The presidential elections scheduled for 2019 will be Turkey’s first under the new presidential system.