Erdoğan signals alliance with MHP for local elections
The grassroots of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will likely desire the benefits of an alliance of the two political parties in the upcoming local elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 20.
“There is no problem with the People’s Alliance [between the AKP and the MHP] as you can hear from the statements of the two sides. We will have a chance to discuss the election alliance too,” he told reporters.
The president’s remarks came one day before a meeting between the two party leaders in which they will discuss a possible alliance in the March elections.
“I hope we can reach a result for the good of both parties. I think this is an expectation from the grassroots,” he said.
His party will work night and day for the local elections to resolve the setbacks of the party and eliminate those who do not comply with the perspectives of the party, he also said.
Anyone who is “shady” should leave the party on their own, the president said. Party members who are not nominated for local elections should comply with these decisions, he said.
The two parties had established what they called the “People’s Alliance” for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, where the MHP had not introduced a presidential nominee and instead endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s candidacy. The two parties had also cooperated in the April 2017 referendum, in which the MHP supported the AKP’s “yes” vote for constitutional amendments.
Bahçeli signaled on Sept. 1 that his nationalist party would enter an alliance with the AKP, but could not get a solid welcome for the idea of the election alliance.
The MHP announced on Oct. 23 that it would not ally with the AKP in the March 2019 municipal elections amid a growing row between the two parties over a debate on “nationalism” and a proposed amnesty law, signaling an end to the People’s Alliance they had formed earlier in 2018.
“We are going to draw up our own plan for the local elections. We are pulling back from our demand for an alliance [with the AKP],” Bahçeli said.
However, the two parties reapproached the alliance after in-party consultations over the potential of possible candidates.