Minister rules out snap elections after June 24 vote if AKP fails to win majority
Hande Fırat - ANKARA
Turkey will not hold snap elections after the June 24 early parliamentary and presidential elections even if President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gets elected as president but the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) fails to win a majority in parliament, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak has said, while vowing to win both elections next month.
Albayrak, who is also Erdoğan’s son-in-law, met journalists in Ankara on May 22 after he was nominated to run as Istanbul MP for the AKP.
“Being nominated for parliament from Istanbul’s first zone and being first on the list of candidates is a huge responsibility for me. Our objective is to get more votes in Istanbul than we have in the past,” he said.
When asked if he would take up a position as a minister, which requires him to resign from parliament, Albayrak said the government will be formed in accordance with the election results. “This new system is full of surprises in regards to who will be appointed as minister,” he said.
His comments come amid speculations in Ankara over the possibility of Erdoğan being elected as president but the AKP failing to win a parliamentary majority. When asked if this would lead to a call for snap elections, he said the new system has been designed to avoid instability and snap elections.
“What’s [the new system] about? Elections were held and the legislation and executive [were chosen]. There will be no elections afterwards,” he said. A decision on early elections would automatically end the mandate of both parliament and the president.
“But the crucial point here is that having a strong leader means having a strong parliament. It means that if the electorate loves Erdoğan, they love the AKP as well. The AKP is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” he said.
‘Erdoğan will be elected in first round’
Albayrak said they were expecting Erdoğan to win in the first round of the two-stage presidential elections. “But even if the elections go to a runoff, our president will be elected for the office with more votes than the first round against whoever his rival will be,” the energy minister said.
He also dismissed claims the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) passing the 10 percent parliament threshold would determine whether or not the AKP would secure a majority in parliament.
“It is not important for the AKP if the HDP passes the threshold or not. The AKP’s place in parliament is never determined by its political rivals,” he added.
Claims on assassination attempts against Erdoğan
The minister also responded to questions on claims over assassination threats against Erdoğan during his visit to Sarajevo last weekend.
“A news report was published on a U.S. website claiming that Israel was deploying assassins and had plans to assassinate our president. Our people will say ‘If anything happens to our president, they [Israel] will become the suspects naturally,” he said.