The high-stakes gamble of the AK Party and the CHP
Coalition talks failed. The why and how of it will be discussed anyway, what is important now is to be able to see ahead…
They were negotiations even though they were named “exploratory work.” As in the nature of any negotiation, there were efforts to defeat each other. From the point of view of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the main trump card was to go to new elections in the case talks failed. As of Aug. 13, the AK Party was playing that card.
Well, what was the main card of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) at the negotiation table? The visible CHP card was the analysis that they themselves were the only option for the AK Party.
Now both parties have used their trump cards.
How sure was the AK Party of itself when it was playing the “new election” card? Was the CHP, while depending on it being the only option, exaggerating?
Let us not exclude the possibility of forming a coalition all together, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Aug. 13, “Early elections have now emerged as the only option.”
Early election or new elections, before anything else, is a huge defeat of the political system. Primarily Davutoğlu and all other leaders have to explain to the public why they could not reach a deal.
Davutoğlu said, “We could not agree with the CHP even about the nature of the government as to whether it would be a restoration or a reform government,” but this is not quite an explanation.
The reason is that questions on what they could not share and what they did not agree on have not yet been answered. The sentence, “There are deep disagreements about foreign policy and education, primarily,” does not answer the basic question.
It is not possible to estimate the results of a likely early election. In terms of the AK Party, the election is like gambling; as a matter of fact, it is a huge risk. Because, yes, on one hand the AK Party is the unique party that has hopes of becoming the ruling one-party in these elections, but there is just the opposite of this sentence too: In a possible election, the AK Party is the party that has the most to lose.
On the other hand, it is a type of gambling also for the CHP to rise to the challenge of early elections instead of joining a short-term, reform-oriented election government. As a matter of fact, we can draw from the statements that a long-term coalition option had died Aug. 10 anyway.
The AK Party directly opted for elections instead of a genuine search for a genuine reconciliation. The CHP, on the other hand, even though it saw that early elections were inevitable, chose to stay in the opposition instead of holding elections while they were partners in the government. Now, both parties will have to live with the consequences of their choices.
Both Davutoğlu and CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu praised the exploration efforts of their party’s delegations.
I am also wondering: Did the two major parties representing two main political trends in Turkey need 35 hours to learn each other’s opinions?
I am also surprised at those who overemphasize that the two parties talked to each other in a civilized manner. What else would they have done, punch each other? The issue was to try to make two different political ideas get close to each other. The CHP narrative, that not even an effort was made for this convergence, is a very serious claim, isn’t it?