CHP leader meets SP leader amid alliance talks
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu met Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu on April 23, amid a tight snap election schedule in which opposition parties are working to find strategies for possible alliances.
In the meeting attended by CHP officials at the CHP headquarters in Ankara, Kılıçdaroğlu and Karamollaoğlu discussed possible pre-election alliance formulas for opposition parties in the parliamentary election and possible presidential candidates.
The CHP is reportedly in favor of every party presenting its own candidate for the first round of the presidential race, believing this raises the possibility of taking the vote to a second round.
They aim to find a candidate who could be supported by all opposition segments in the second round to compete against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is highly likely to pass to the second round.
Responding to a question of whether the opposition is considering nominating former President Abdullah Gül, among the founding members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) but estranged from the party since his term as president ended in 2014, Karamollaoğlu remained non-committal.
“The answer to those questions will be given this weekend,” he said.
Karamollaoğlu said that in the meeting he praised the support given by the CHP to the İYİ (Good) Party to enter the election by transferring its 15 lawmakers to the latter in order to enable it to form a parliamentary group.
“The İYİ Party could have faced the possibility of not entering the elections. It was a good move [by the CHP] as a contribution to democracy,” he added.
Speaking after Karamollaoğlu, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu said the main opposition is taking steps to “defend democracy.”
He added that the CHP is still against the 10 percent electoral threshold and the coming elections are crucial for Turkey’s future.
“We want to live in peace. In this manner, the steps that the SP has taken to improve democracy and its commitment to democracy are very valuable,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) is expected to announce the electoral schedule this week, shortly after parliament legislates the harmonization laws concerning presidential elections.
Since the presidential election follows a constitutional amendment shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system, narrowly approved in the controversial April 16, 2017 referendum, current legislation necessitates regulations to adapt the electoral system.
The legislation package is in the parliamentary constitutional commission on April 23 and is expected to be approved at the Grand Assembly on April 24.
As political parties are obliged to reveal protocols regarding their pre-election alliances and lists within a week of the announcement of the electoral schedule, the opposition parties are expected to determine their alliances and candidates in the coming week.
The CHP will also convene a party assembly on April 24, in which party officials are expected to determine their final strategy and candidate.