Amid coalition talks, parties ready for re-run
DHA photoThe Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) have not closed the doors to further talks for a government coalition, but the parties’ leaders have expressed readiness for an early election should coalition talks fail to yield a partnership.
The first of such signs came from the AKP front, with its leader, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, calling on all AKP provincial chairs to be ready for any possible snap election.
Davutoğlu called every provincial AKP chairperson to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday and receive updates about local party activities, state-run Anadolu Agency quoted anonymous Prime Ministry sources as saying late on July 19.
“We are carrying out coalition talks and will continue negotiations until the last moment. But you should be alert that we may run for elections. You should not take any break in your work ... You should always be together with local people,” the prime minister reportedly told them.
Davutoğlu completed a first round of coalition talks with the leaders of the CHP, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) last week and is expected to hold a new round of talks this week.
For his part, Kılıçdaroğlu downplayed Davutoğlu’s call, while noting that they have done the same in their instructions to party organization.
Nonetheless, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu underlined the utmost need to carefully spend the 45-day limit to form a coalition government.
“According to the constitution, there is a 45-day period for the formation of the government. This period needs to be used very carefully because there are political responsibilities about not using it productively. Parties can be accused of political ineptness, too,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in remarks delivered to Şükrü Küçükşahin of daily Hürriyet.
“It is extremely natural for Mr. Prime Minister to call his party’s organization to tell them to be ready for an election,” he said. “All political parties have to be ready for an election,” he added, noting that he would not be able to say whether the talks would eventually lead to the formation of a coalition government.
“I am saying this for all parties, not only in regards to the AKP. We are ready, too. From the very first day, we told our organization and deputies: ‘Work as if there is election tomorrow.’”
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli implied confidence that they would increase their votes in a possible early election.
“I suppose that in an early election our nation will say, ‘There is a need for the MHP, but not these and we want to bring the MHP to power,’” Bahçeli said on July 18 in response to questions from reporters.
In Şanlıurfa, HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ echoed the confidence of other party leaders in regards to a re-run of the elections.
“We are ready for everything, but not only for early election. We are ready for resistance for peace and difficulties we face in various political processes and at the same time for elections, too,” Yüksekdağ told reporters on July 20.
“We do not want early elections because our people do not want it. Did millions of people go to the ballot box to go to an early election?” she asked, noting that all parties should settle for the results they received in the June 7 parliamentary election.