CHP, MHP burn bridges over coalition discussions

CHP, MHP burn bridges over coalition discussions

CHP, MHP burn bridges over coalition discussions

AFP Photo

A row between the leaders of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has descended into acrimony amid mutual accusations after the latter strongly reacted to the social democratic party’s offer of the seat of the prime minister, describing the proposal as a show of triviality. 

“I ask myself: Can those who run after status make the best of life and politics?” MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli asked on his Twitter account late June 20, indirectly responding to CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu proposal to become the prime minister of a CHP-MHP coalition government. 

Bahçeli earlier depicted the proposal as a “Made in China toy,” emphasizing that the nationalist party prioritized its principles rather than government positions.  Bahçeli’s statements came at a moment when speculation over a coalition partnership between the MHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been growing. 

MHP deputy leader Mevlüt Karakaya categorically ruled out a government without the involvement of the AKP, while Energy Minister Taner Yıldız implied an AKP-MHP partnership over the weekend. 

The main concern for the MHP is that the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), which focuses on the Kurdish issue, would be necessary to prop up a potential CHP-MHP partnership as the number of the seats of the two parties does not suffice to reach simple majority.  

Kılıçdaroğlu: They even have no dream of government 

Kılıçdaroğlu indirectly responded to Bahçeli’s criticisms toward his proposal in a written statement on June 21 and explained why he used the description of 60 percent bloc composed by the CHP, MHP and HDP. 

“When we talked about the bloc of 60 percent, we tried to highlight the duty the people gave us. It seems that other opposition parties can’t even dream of a government without the AKP as they are already eyeing the next elections,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. The 60 percent bloc does not describe a political partnership but a coming together of three parties who have promised their voters to reinstate the rule of law and democracy, he said. 

Recalling that all three parties promised their voters that they would terminate the AKP’s authoritarian rule and fight against corruption and graft, he said: “That’s why we wanted to show that we can give up any seat because what come first for us are principles and Turkey’s interests.”

Kılıçdaroğlu indirectly criticized the MHP leadership, saying: “Parties other than us are talking about who they can form a government with. But for us, the criteria [in making a government] are our principles and our promises.”