MHP leader denies speculation of joint campaign with AKP
AFP photoOpposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has denied that his party will conduct a joint campaign with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in a possible referendum process following comments on the matter by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
“We are not in a state to answer such a question regarding the future. We have not stated an opinion about the future in this process,” he told reporters in parliament on Jan. 19, slamming suggestions that the MHP would have a position in a future government. “I condemn such allegations.”
His comments came after AKP sources said their party would coordinate with the MHP as the constitutional package is being supported by the two parties in parliament.
“We will evaluate what the MHP will do during the campaign. The MHP will carry out its own rallies but we will coordinate with them,” a source said, according to daily Hürriyet on Jan. 19.
“We [the AKP and the MHP] are two separate legal entities. We will have discourses within which we will say ‘yes’ in our own way,” Bahçeli said.
“There are lawmakers in the AKP who were MHP lawmakers before. If they were being referred to, it is their own personal evaluation and personal choice,” he added.
Bahçeli also slammed suggestions that the MHP would assume posts in the future government if the referendum passes.
“I condemn [such allegations],” Bahçeli said. “CHP [main opposition Republican People’s Party] lawmakers have particularly made accusations, claiming that we made negotiations and bargains. I strongly reject and condemn [these accusations],” he said.
“We do not accept any understanding that would cast a shadow on the constitutional process and would mean negotiation. Elections will take place in 2019. There are three more years,” he added.
MHP to conduct a ‘yes’ campaign
Bahçeli said the MHP’s possible referendum campaign would be for a “yes” vote.
“We said ‘yes’ in [parliament]; we will say the same in front of the public. Our campaign will be based on ‘yes,’” he said.