Ten differences between the upcoming election and June 7

Ten differences between the upcoming election and June 7

1. We will talk about the Justice and Development Party (Ak Party), not the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The main theme of the June 7 election was whether or not the HDP would be able to cross the 10 percent election threshold. This time we will talk about whether the Ak Party will increase its votes and whether it will be able to rule as one party alone.

2. “We will not let you be elected [executive] president.” The theme that brought the opposition together on June 7, the one that brought even the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the HDP together, the theme that prevented the Ak Party from winning more than 330 deputies, was to block that party from changing the constitution and introducing the presidential system. This time, not even the Ak Party’s expectation is 300 deputies. 

3. The opposition may come to power. On June 7, even their own voters had no expectations that the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the MHP could be partners in a government; their basic motivation was only to obstruct the AK Party. However, June 7 has shown us the CHP and the MHP may just as well be partners in a government, may fulfill a portion of the pledges they made. This situation will motivate the voters of these two parties differently.

4. The Ak Party could step down from its heaven. As in the June 7 election and before, nobody doubted the Ak Party would be the first party, not even its staunch opponents. However, if their vote erosion continues in these elections, for instance it they go down to 39 percent or lower, then the halo over the head of this party since it was founded may disappear. In other words, the fate of the Ak Party will not be perceived as the ruling party but as a normal party. 

5. The election security issue. In the June 7 election, groups like “Vote and beyond” (Oy ve Ötesi) were very effective. There was a widespread perception before the election that citizens did not trust the election results but on June 7, no serious election flaw or claims of cheating were brought up. More precisely, these kinds of claims were brought up only by the Ak Party about voting centers in the southeast. They claimed votes for the HDP were collected under threats from the PKK/KCK (outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party/Kurdistan Communities Union). But official complaints were not filed for these claims. On the other hand, in this upcoming election, because of terror incidents occurring everywhere in the country including the big cities, election security looks as if it will be a serious issue. When the state will use its security forces with the excuse of preventing the PKK/KCK from threatening the voters, this time the HDP will bring up claims of vote stealing and cheating. In short, we will not be able to experience a peaceful election. 

6. Campaigns using state funds. The most important claim brought up by the opposition frequently on June 7 was that the Ak Party conducted its election campaign with the means of the state, because state planes were carrying politicians to political rallies. If these new elections are to be organized by an interim government formed by the president then these claims will cease. 

7. There is no Ak Party majority on the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) anymore. While approaching the June 7 election, one of the main objections was the appearance of the Ak Party on televisions much more than other parties. Now, because the Ak Party is no longer a majority in RTÜK, television channels will be more careful.  

8. Money will talk. A new election means everybody, from parties to candidates, will have to spend more money. In this election, if the situation does not change, parties, contrary to June 7, will not be able to receive funds from the Treasury. Thus those parties that have cash in their cases at this moment will have an advantage in advertising campaigns. In the past elections, the CHP and the Ak Party spent serious money. While the Ak Party looks as if it can spend serious amounts again, though not the same as before, the CHP’s case looks more difficult. 

9. Who will say what? Parties used their economic pledge weapons on June 7. Would they repeat the same things in this election? Even if they do, these upcoming elections will probably rest on political discourse. The Ak Party, however they phrase it, will say “No stability if I am not around,” and will demand to come to power alone. In a way, it will threaten the voter with its absence. On the other hand, it would be expected that the opposition would come up with the mentality: “The defeated wrestler will never give up wrestling.”

10.  The 2016 budget will be delayed. This is not related to the election actually. Since there is no government now and since the parliament most probably will be defunct in two weeks’ time, the 2016 budget will not be made. Even if the new parliament elects its executive board and the government is formed rapidly, most probably Turkey will live its first months of 2016 with an “interim budget.” In other words, maybe civil servant and retiree salaries will be paid, basic health services, etc., will be conducted, but public investments, most probably, will slow down seriously.