CHP in talks with other parties to forming election alliance before 2019 polls

CHP in talks with other parties to forming election alliance before 2019 polls

CHP in talks with other parties to forming election alliance before 2019 polls

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is conducting talks with other political parties to possibly form a pre-election alliance for the upcoming elections in 2019, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

“Of course, there are meetings [on an alliance],” Kılıçdaroğlu was quoted as saying by daily Cumhuriyet on March 28. “But I don’t want to give too many details yet, it would not be right to do so at this stage.”

The CHP leader was responding to a question regarding his earlier meetings with the leaders of the Felicity Party (SP), the Good (İYİ) Party and the Democrat Party (DP).

The move comes after the formation of a “people’s alliance” by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). That move has prompted other parties to form their own alliances, as the 10 percent threshold on entering parliament has not been reduced to a reasonable level.

The format of the alliance that the CHP is seeking does not anticipate a partnership for local elections slated for March 2019. “We will present our own normal candidates in local elections and we will wage our struggle in that framework,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also claimed that many of those who voted “yes” in last year’s referendum abolishing the parliamentary system now regret their vote and are moving closer to the opposition parties.

“There are many people who voiced their regret after [the referendum]. So [the AKP-MHP] alliance will not receive the votes they expect,” he said.

“We are seeing [indicators] in the field,” he said, adding that current polling indicates a vote of only 43 to 48 percent for the “people’s alliance” of the AKP and the MHP.

“There isn’t any 51 percent. If they see such a result they would go to an election immediately. But there isn’t such a thing,” the CHP leader said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also blasted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s March 26 comment on Turkey’s ongoing military operation in the northern Syrian district of Afrin in which he said the operation had triggered a “regeneration movement” for the AKP.

He also touched on the CHP’s preparation to appeal the legal package that allows the formation of pre-election alliances and stipulating extensive changes in electoral and political party laws to the Constitutional Court. He stressed that the CHP is not against alliances in principle but is against the maintenance of the 10 percent electoral threshold.

The CHP officials have repeatedly voiced concerns about the package, stating that changes to the electoral law will likely open the door to irregularities jeopardizing electoral safety and legitimacy.