AKP, CHP test waters for possible coalition
Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
DHA PhotoUnofficial consultations between the ruling and the main opposition parties have begun to test the waters as to whether the two bitter political rivals can form Turkey’s next government.
Talks between the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which garnered 40.8 percent of the votes with 258 seats in parliament, and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which took 25 percent of the vote with 132 seats, are just preliminary and unofficial. Talks are being carried out by a group of politicians from the two parties who believe that the AKP-CHP coalition government is the best alternative for the normalization and restoration of Turkey.
The politicians, who are close to the chairmen of the two parties, are trying to create a basis for official negotiations to be carried out after the mandate to form the next government is given to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The meetings came just a day before Davutoğlu was scheduled to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Those who are holding talks between the AKP and the CHP are trying to examine the possibility of a coalition government between the two and to determine potential problems before this agreement. AKP-CHP coalition would be focused on efforts to strengthen the economy, intensify social investments, take steps in expanding freedoms and continue the democratization process, according to the politicians. They also think this coalition would also continue the Kurdish peace process as the two parties’ views are not very different on the matter.
However, there are also some problematic issues that could block the formation of such a coalition due to conditions from the CHP. The social democratic would likely demand that four former ministers implicated in a 2013 corruption case be sent to court, while also demanding effective measures in the fight against corruption.
Erdoğan main factor
Besides other political issues that would complicate the process, the stance Erdoğan adopts will also play a crucial role in negotiations between the two parties. One of the CHP’s main conditions will be to restrict Erdoğan to his constitutionally approved duties, meaning he will not intervene in governmental affairs.
Erdoğan’s written statement immediately after the elections, calling for all political parties to move responsibly in order to ensure the government does not remain rudderless, is seen as encouraging to this end. The results of the unofficial consultations will be reported to the leaders of the two parties in the coming days.
AKP and CHP in in-house consultations
In the meantime, both parties continued deliberations on election results and on potential coalition scenarios. Davutoğlu chaired long meetings with his party official on June 8 and 9 while CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu convened his closest aides to discuss the party’s road map on June 9.
Despite the fact that unofficial talks have begun, CHP officials have been looking to avoid divulging their position on forming a coalition with the AKP.
“Our chairmen did not say that the message given by the Turkish people was to form a government with the AKP,” CHP spokesperson Haluk Koç told reporters June 9.
The Turkish people openly said it does not want a government oppressing its opponents and the media, Koç said, underlining the party’s red lines as “letting every institution function within constitutional boundaries; reinstating the rule of law; correcting unjust income distribution; stopping arbitrary management of the economy; providing independence to autonomous bodies and reinstating trust for the justice and politics.”
However, another CHP official, deputy leader Sezgin Tanrıkulu said the CHP could form a coalition government with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the People’s Democracy Party (HDP).
“We are thinking over an option that does not include the AKP. We can easily form a government with these two parties that would launch a restoration period,” he told reporters.