CHP leader sees low chances of coalition, predecessor sees open door
REUTERS photoRepublican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and his predecessor and CHP parliamentary speaker candidate, Deniz Baykal, have disagreed on the possibility of forming a coalition, with the leader depicting the chances as low and the latter declaring a joint government as inevitable.
Kılıçdaroğlu said he did not see his party’s engagement in a coalition with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as a strong option in forming the new government, reiterating his claims that the nomination of Baykal as their candidate for the parliamentary speaker’s position was not a part of the coalition bargaining.
“This issue has nothing to do with a coalition,” Kılıçdaroğlu said when asked about suggestions that Baykal’s candidacy was actually a sign of a coming AKP-CHP coalition.
“Personally, I see it as a weak possibility,” said the leader of the CHP, which won the second highest number of seats in parliament after the June 7 election, when asked whether an AKP-CHP coalition was possible regardless of Baykal’s candidacy.
The CHP leader announced on June 24 that Baykal, who is currently serving as acting parliamentary speaker as the eldest deputy, is their candidate.
“There is a situation about preferences of deputies,” Kılıçdaroğlu added, in remarks published in daily Hürriyet on June 25, in a reference to the fact that candidates run individually for parliament speaker’s office as political parties are not permitted to nominate candidates for the election.
“We believe that he [Baykal] will get support from every party. It is not right to see this issue as part of a coalition bargaining,” he said. “I am also personally saying, this should not be regarded like that.”
Nonetheless, in remarks published on the same day, Baykal seemed positive about the prospects of a coalition government.
“Today, there is 95 percent representation in parliament. This is something magnificent. We should appreciate its preciousness,” Baykal said in an interview printed in the June 25 edition of daily Milliyet.
“I wouldn’t know who would be the partners of a coalition but Turkey should function,” Baykal said, implying that respect for such high representation requires the formation of a coalition government instead of going to early elections.
According to Baykal, early elections would be tantamount to disrespect for the nation and its decision.
“Understandings which won a certain degree of representation in parliament now need to become engaged in a responsible relationship with each other,” he said.
In a news report in the June 25 edition of daily Habertürk, Baykal was reportedly quoted as delivering more incisive comments.
“My becoming parliament speaker would make a contribution to Turkey’s normalization and conciliation culture. Additionally, it may also open the door to a possible AK Parti-CHP coalition. Because having a parliamentary speaker elected from an opposition party would be considered a gesture,” Baykal was reportedly quoted as telling his inner circle.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already made public that he has no intention of giving the mandate to form a government to the AKP, which lost its parliamentary majority in the June 7 election, before the new parliament elects a speaker. Such a statement has forced the potential coalition partners to accelerate their preparation for a bargaining process.
The AKP government has been forced to seek a partner in one of the three main opposition parties to govern after losing its parliamentary majority.