CHP OKs snap polls with friction on date

CHP OKs snap polls with friction on date

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP OKs snap polls with friction on date

The ruling AKP’s deputy parliamentary group leader, Canikli (R), meets with his main opposition CHP counterpart, İnce, for talks on holding local polls earlier. AA photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) joined the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in their call to hold local elections sooner, so as not to give the impression that wishes to avoid the polls.

The CHP, which had earlier rejected the idea, suggested holding the elections on Nov. 3, 2013, but the AKP and MHP rejected the CHP’s proposal, choosing to proceed with their initial plan to hold the local polls on Oct. 27, 2013.

The AKP’s deputy parliamentary group leader, Nurettin Canikli, met with both the CHP and the MHP to discuss their proposal to move the local elections up by five months, but skipped meeting with the Peace and Development Party (BDP) due to an ongoing row over the recent terrorist attacks. The AKP and the MHP, who jointly hold enough seats in Parliament to make the change, had already announced their agreement on this issue. The Parliament will open on Oct. 1, and one of its first orders of business will be moving up the date of the polls.

“The shy togetherness between the AKP and the MHP has turned into a coalition. As the main opposition party, we are the most prepared party for polls. But there will be Independence Day celebrations on Oct. 29, that’s why we proposed Nov. 3,” Muharrem İnce, deputy parliamentary group leader of the CHP, told reporters yesterday.

Although the CHP will not sign the text concerning the constitutional amendment that will make moving the polls possible, İnce said the CHP will still support snap local polls. “We are not afraid of polls, we are not escaping. Turkey is burning, mothers are crying because of terrorist attacks every day, and what we are dealing with is the political career of just one person. Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan’s career takes precedence over everything,” İnce stressed. In 2014, Turkey will run for in the general election in which the next president will be elected via popular vote. Erdoğan seems to be the strongest candidate for the presidential elections.