CHP cool to polls, AKP, MHP allied
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The ruling AKP’s deputy Parliamentary group leader, Canikli (C), meets with the main opposition CHP’s İnce over the issue of holding elections earlier. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will insist on early local elections if it can convince the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to support them, AKP deputy parliamentary group chair Nurettin Canikli indicated yesterday after the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) signaled they would not lend their support to the constitutional amendment.
“We will take steps [regarding early local elections] when we guarantee a mathematical majority for constitutional change. If we can reach an agreement with an opposition party -- either with the CHP or the MHP -- the votes of two parties will be enough for a constitutional amendment. We will take steps in that case,” Canikli told reporters after meeting with CHP deputy chairs. “There will be no road accident this time.” The AKP has been seeking support for scheduling local elections five months earlier than usual, holding them in October or November of 2013 rather than in March 2014.
A constitutional amendment to move local elections to Oct. 27, 2013 was approved in Parliament on Oct. 12, but the measure was eight votes shy of the required 367 votes needed for a two-thirds majority and necessitated a referendum for its adoption, although the AKP and MHP announced that they would vote in favor of the amendment. The AKP holds 326 seats in Parliament while the CHP holds 134, the MHP 51 and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) holds 29. President Abdullah Gül vetoed the bill on Oct. 16. The ruling party, persistent for rescheduling local elections, sought the support of main opposition party yesterday. The CHP, however, signaled they would not support the proposal due to the AKP’s efforts to change municipal laws to gain more municipalities in local elections. When the AKP had first brought its proposal for early local elections to the table Sept. 6, the municipal law changes were not yet on the agenda. However, the AKP submitted their proposal on Oct. 8 and all conditions for local elections had changed, CHP deputy parliamentary group chair Muharrem İnce said after their meeting.
“They [the AKP] propose to reschedule the local elections, but at the same time they are changing election constituencies in their favor. They don’t seek our support while changing the rules of the elections, but they seek our support while changing the time of the elections, this is a contradiction,” CHP deputy chair Gökhan Günaydın said. Stressing that they were not in a bargain with the AKP, Günaydın said: “The AKP should understand this very well. When their majority is enough, they impose whatever they want. But when their seats [in Parliament] are not enough, they seek reconciliation, this is a paradoxical attitude.”