AKP seeks return of votes that went astray

AKP seeks return of votes that went astray

Ali Kayalar – ISTANBUL
AKP seeks return of votes that went astray

DHA photo

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is expecting a comeback of nearly 7 percent of its voters, who had earlier casted their vote for the party but stepped back in the June 7 election, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said. 

“The political outlook that emerged after [the] June 7 [election] will bring the AKP new votes due to a search for political sustainability and a powerful government,” Kurtulmuş told Hürriyet Daily News during an interview on Oct. 26. 

“More precisely, there is a mass that had voted for the AKP in earlier elections but did not do so in the June 7 election. I believe that 7 percent will return to the AKP,” he said, adding that he thought the party will get votes from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The deputy prime minister said polls showed the votes of the party were rising constantly, subscribing the rise to events since the June 7 elections, which did not yield a one party government or a coalition and resulted in a Nov. 1 snap election. The AKP won 258 seats in the previous polls, 18 behind the 276 parliament seats required to found a government alone. 

 “Turkey has faced a very serious wave of terror,” he said referring to the July 20 suicide attack in Gaziantep’s Suruç, the increasing number of policemen and soldiers killed in the state’s fight with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Oct. 10 suicide attack in the capital city of Ankara, where 102 were killed. 

“Turkey is trying to be taken hostage via terror,” he said, adding that economy, especially the sudden losses of the Turkish Lira “without any real reason” was another major situation that contributed to the post-election period. 

“In addition, the refugee issue, which we have been working on for the past five years, has turned into an international problem since this summer,” Kurtulmuş said. 

“Then, our citizens started to think that Turkey could be taken hostage, economic developments could reach a very negative point and Turkey might face some operations of perception in the absence of a strong government,” he said. 

The deputy PM said Russia’s border violations also came during this trying period. 

According to him, all election polls show that the majority of the voters (at least 55 percent) want a one-party government. 

“This does not mean that all will vote for the AKP but all of them know that a one-party government is an AKP government.” 

The government’s strong stance against terrorism in rural areas, cities and cross-border areas has also been appreciated by the citizens, he said. 

Responding to a question on a fresh debate triggered by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, who said a “fifth party” could be formed in parliament after the Nov. 1 election, Kurtulmuş said this was an antidemocratic approach of the past, when “civil generals” aimed to “design the country.”