AKP narrows campaign focus as polls show little chance of single rule

AKP narrows campaign focus as polls show little chance of single rule

Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
AKP narrows campaign focus as polls show little chance of single rule

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In a bid to heighten its chances of forming a single-party government, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has narrowed its campaign focus to 40 provinces where it hopes to increase its seat totals in the last week before the Nov. 1 snap election.

“The goal is not increasing the percentage of votes, but to increase the number of seats,” said Mustafa Ataş, the AKP’s executive in charge of the party’s organization. 

As the AKP does not see a chance to form a single-party government according to recent surveys, the party will push for specific provinces. “If necessary we’ll transport those who want to vote but [are] outside of their provinces at that moment,” Ataş stated.

The party held its last election strategy meeting on Oct. 22. During the meeting the party discussed all the surveys which have been conducted since the Oct. 10 Ankara bombing. The surveys indicated there was no chance for an AKP single-party government, though there was an increasing trend. 

Therefore, the party decided to increase their campaign push in 40 provinces where the AKP lost or won by a small number of votes in the June 7 elections.

“We are working on which groups are not voting for the AKP and what their complaints are,” Ataş said, adding they would work to convince those did not go to the polls previously to do so this time.

The 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 [AKP], 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 was at “the critical threshold.”