AKP at ‘critical threshold’: Former Energy Minister Yıldız
Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARAThe Justice and Development Party (AKP) faces a tough challenge to be able to form a single-party government in the upcoming Nov. 1 snap election, former Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has acknowledged.
“This is our goal. Current surveys show that we are very close to this but we are not there yet. They show that we are right on the border,” Yıldız told journalists on Oct. 22, stressing the importance of the last 10 days of campaigning before Nov. 1.
“We need to achieve our goal of ruling on our own not only for the AK Parti, but also to be able to maintain Turkey’s stability and ensure its normalization. I hope we will achieve it, even if only with a critical number [of seats],” he said, adding that the party is at “the critical threshold.”
Founded in August 2001, the AKP won three consecutive parliamentary elections in 2002, 2007 and 2011 and was able to form a single-party government after each of the elections.
However, in the June 7, 2015 parliamentary election, the AKP dropped to fewer than 276 seats in parliament, the number needed for a legislative majority. It had aimed for the 330 seats it needed in order to change the constitution without input from other parties and thus pave the way for a new presidential system equipped with more power and fewer checks and balances.
After failing to secure a coalition, AKP leader and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu formed an interim cabinet ahead of the November re-run.
“In the June 7 vote, the electoral will did not entirely belong to the AK Parti. The national will signaled ‘coalition’ in the June 7 election. Although a coalition was not officially or de facto realized, the market is running with an understanding that there is a coalition,” Yıldız said.
“The national will told us in the June 7 elections, ‘You won’t be in power on your own,’ so we cannot behave as if we are in power on our own,” he added, claiming that the AKP should not be held entirely responsible for the instability that has plagued Turkey since the June election.