AKP’s Plan B: MHP-backed minority gov’t

AKP’s Plan B: MHP-backed minority gov’t

The talks between delegations of the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to understand whether and on what terms a coalition would be possible for a new government in Turkey were completed on Aug. 3.

Now the delegations will report to their leaders, PM Ahmet Davutoğlu and CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who are expected to meet one-on-one to make a decision, possibly later this week.

But the mood for such a “Grand Coalition” is not very optimistic.

Kılıçdaroğlu said on the evening of Aug. 2 during a live interview on HaberTürk TV that he believed “Davutoğlu sincerely wanted a coalition with the CHP,” but did not think President Tayyip Erdoğan would allow that to happen.

Last week Erdoğan said in a press statement that he did not believe the coalition governments would be in country’s benefit and if the two (Davutoğlu and Kılıçdaroğlu) could not settle, he would prefer an AK Parti minority government that could take Turkey to another election as soon as possible.

Since the June 7 elections denied the AK Parti to form a government on its own, Erdoğan sees the polls denied his chance to perform a de facto presidential system, let alone to change it from the current parliamentarian one through a constitutional majority. 

But the current balance of powers in parliament does not allow other parties to come up with an alternative to the AK Parti as well. Erdoğan also doesn’t want any file or authority of any ministry to be transferred into other hands after being in the hands of the AK Parti for the last 13 years.

That is why he wants to try his chance once again by repeating the election. He hopes that the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will not exceed the 10 percent hurdle this time (in relation with the acts of terror by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK) and that the AK Parti can get the parliamentary majority once again. 

But recently, over the last few days, another scenario has been debated in the political backstage.

According to this scenario (let’s call it Plan B), if the talks with the CHP fails, Davutoğlu will go to Erdoğan to say that he is ready to form a minority government and Erdoğan will give the mandate. Davutoğlu then goes to parliament and gets the majority of the votes in a session where the CHP and HDP would object but their total would not be enough to overcome the AK Parti if the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) does not take part in that session. In other words, a vote-of-no-confidence to topple that government could not be maintained since the MHP leader, Devlet Bahçeli, said he would never vote in the same direction as the HDP; and in this formula, Erdoğan can enjoy his full executive power for a full four years, not necessarily until an early election.

Abdulkadir Selvi, a columnist for the pro-government Yeni Şafak, wrote on Aug. 3 that the formula could save the MHP from casting votes for Erdoğan-Davutoğlu, since he also said that he would not support a minority government or casting votes in line with HDP, whether it would be for the continuation of the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu power.

The key point in this Plan B of AK Parti is the indirect support from the MHP, by remaining idle in all cases, as long as the AK Parti government continues its new hard-line on the Kurdish issue.