AKP, MHP leaders meet for alliance in local polls

AKP, MHP leaders meet for alliance in local polls

AKP, MHP leaders meet for alliance in local polls

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli held an in-person meeting on Oct. 16 to discuss a potential alliance for the upcoming the municipal elections.

“We want to continue the People’s Alliance for the local elections as well. It is not about how many more municipalities we will win or the votes we will garner. It is to avoid revisited discussions on the presidential governance system. Forming an alliance is an inevitable alliance,” Bahçeli told his parliamentary group hours before he met Erdoğan.

The AKP and the MHP had formed what they called the People’s Alliance before the June 24 elections in which Erdoğan was elected as the executive-president thanks to the support given by the MHP. The nationalist party had also supported the AKP-led referendum to shift the governance system from a parliamentary one to a presidential one in April 2017.

The local elections slated for March 31, 2019 should yield the results necessary for the new system of government to take root and guarantee Turkey’s future, Bahçeli said.

He said an alliance between the AKP and the MHP would prevent those eyeing to spark a new political crisis.

“We are sure big objectives will not be fulfilled through daily political motives and short-term visions,” said the MHP leader.

“If we are to shape Turkey’s future in a balanced and permanent way, it will be an inevitable necessity for us to approach [the local elections slated for] March 31, 2019 through a national and moral perspective,” he said.

There is a need for a legal change if the two parties form a legal alliance, as the law on local polls does not allow such partnerships. However, the parties can cooperate by nominating joint candidates. Bahçeli has already announced his party would not present a candidate for Istanbul and would therefore support the nominee for the AKP.