Alliance may collapse, if AKP repeats mistakes: MHP leader
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chairman Devlet Bahçeli has warned its ally, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), two days before elections, saying that “everything would be over” with the People’s Alliance if the government repeats its past mistakes.
“We already told that we would support Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential elections. As a result, he would be the head of the executive branch. [But] we want a strong MHP in the parliament. Erdoğan can form the government as he wants, this is his business. If they repeat the mistake done by Ahmet Davutoğlu, everything would be over,” Bahçeli told during a live interview on private broadcasters Habertürk and Show TV late June 22.
The AKP had lost its parliamentary majority in the June 2015 elections. Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was the prime minister at the time, proposed a coalition after the elections, but Bahçeli refused the offer, paving way for the “repeat elections” that the AKP won back parliamentary majority five months later.
Bahçeli criticizes Erdoğan over 'coalition'
Bahçeli on June 22 also criticized Erdoğan for using the word "coalition" while discussing possible scenarios for the aftermath of the June 24 elections.
“The president cannot share his power. If his party did not have enough seats at the parliament, then he can seek support to execute certain functions. This is not a coalition. It can be called reconciliation or cooperation,” Bahçeli said.
Erdoğan had said in an interview on June 20 that his ruling AKP may seek to form a coalition if it fails to secure a parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections.
Complaints on MP candidates continue
Bahçeli also made clear on June 22 that his complaints regarding a number of AKP MP candidates continue.
“My warning regarding the People’s Alliance aims at some AK Party candidates. AK Party should know and see it. They keep criticizing the MHP and use a different kind of rhetoric. They don’t talk about the President’s candidacy at all,” he said.
MHP leader has been slamming the local campaigns of a number of AKP candidates since early June.
“Do not play games with the MHP. Your power is not enough to exclude the MHP,” he said on June 7.
“We will protect the People’s Alliance together. We will not allow those who want to damage it. Do not let those who would like to cause trouble in the grassroots come between us,” Erdoğan had responded to Bahçeli’s concerns at a rally in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir on June 8.
The MHP has endorsed Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy following its support for the constitutional amendment shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system, narrowly approved in an April 2017 referendum marred by allegations of fraud.
The two parties have entered into a pre-election alliance for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections after a legislative change allowing political parties to form such alliances passed in parliament with MHP and AKP votes.
The ruling party and the MHP had emphasized on keeping their political identity in the alliance and campaigned separately.
While the AKP’s candidate Erdoğan and the AKP have started holding rallies across Turkey, the MHP has chosen to keep its campaign at the local level with close provincial meetings.