Main opposition CHP hints at ‘alliance of principles’ for upcoming elections
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said there could be an “alliance of principles” for the upcoming 2019 elections, for which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are endorsing the candidacy of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and pushing for a legislative amendment allowing pre-election alliances.
“It can surely happen. Potential principles could be determined; if there is a unity in line with those principles, [the alliance] will be formed based on those principles,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet in an interview on Feb. 27.
“I had already said that we want a new constitution in Turkey with a consensus. We have already announced that. Turkey needs it,” he added.
His comments came after the MHP and the AKP submitted a legislative package that will allow pre-election alliances and bring extensive changes to election laws, which drew criticism from the opposition.
As the AKP and the MHP’s alliance for constitutional amendments, which brings a system change by granting sweeping powers to the future president-elect, has transformed into an election alliance under the name “People’s Alliance,” whether or not the CHP would also be in consolidation with other parties has been in the limelight.
Asked whether the CHP was considering forging alliances, as he has also had meetings with Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu, the CHP leader said he believed the current 10 percent electoral threshold should be lowered, stressing that the main opposition wanted every party to enter the elections by themselves and have the opportunity to be represented in parliament.
“Our stance is clear and simple. We want a change in the election law and the threshold to be lowered to 1 or 2 percent. We wish all parties can enter the elections by themselves,” he said.
On Feb. 27, in a parliamentary group meeting, he gave the green light for alliances.
“We will embrace everybody within the context of democracy. Not from this party or that party; but whoever defends democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and conscience, and freedom of judicial independence, we will struggle for democracy with them,” he said.
“We will win by uniting,” he added.
He also criticized the legislative package submitted to parliamentary examination, as it leaves out the threshold issue and brings contentious measures on electoral security.
“We have serious concerns about the electoral security issue,” he said.
“There are provisions that are very concerning. There is an understanding that as if the elections are being conducted with people casting ballots openly and votes are being counted discreetly,” he said, adding that the CHP may take the package to the Constitutional Court if it gets approved by vote and the Parliamentary Commission.