CHP wants to take MHP in but open to AKP

CHP wants to take MHP in but open to AKP

Turkey’s social democratic Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu revealed a 14-point list of principles for a coalition government on June 15.

Announcing government program-like principles for a coalition government even before the start of the official coalition talks has never been seen in Turkish politics before; Kılıçdaroğlu said he was seeking a transparent negotiation period.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s call was to have a coalition government excluding the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti). He said the primary duty to form a government falls upon the “60 percent bloc,” implying the sum of the CHP, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) against the 40 plus percent of the AK Parti.

He said that “if we are going to take some steps to be in power, we have to act with our reason and logic. In that context, we cannot ignore any party or any citizen who voted for that party.”

That is a clear message to the MHP, which does not want to be in any combination with the HDP because of the HDP’s priority of solving the Kurdish problem. Actually MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli says that his condition of being a part of any coalition, including the AK Parti, was to have an end to the Kurdish solution process efforts, which he calls the “dissolution process.”

According to MHP sources, the only option could perhaps be possible to give outside support to a CHP minority government; “then we wouldn’t care whether any other party would also give outside support,” the source told HDN, meaning the HDP. But that would give the CHP a very fragile government dependent on MHP and HDP demands all the time against a very strong AK Parti opposition.

On the other hand, Kılıçdaroğlu’s words also show that if the CHP exhausts all options with the MHP and HDP, it could be open to a coalition with the AK Parti.

Of course, number 5 and 6 of the CHP principles, about President Tayyip Erdoğan not going beyond the constitution (meaning interfering in government affairs on a daily basis) and eliminating the covert budget allocated to him could be difficult for PM Ahmet Davutoğlu and his AK Parti to accept. 

“That budget can only be used by the prime minister alone in the Turkish system,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “The state cannot be run with two heads.”

In terms of the other articles on the list of problems, there are strong references to the rule of law, media freedom, the fight against corruption, empowering the social state and returning to a peaceful foreign policy.

Between the lines it is possible to read that if there is a coalition, the CHP would at least want the foreign, justice, education, finance and labor ministries and control over the public broadcaster TRT. “In order to transform it” from being a mouthpiece of every incoming government, Kılıçdaroğlu explained.

If and when the coalition talks start with the AK Parti, it shouln’t be a surprise if the CHP asks for one of the investment ministries like energy and transportation, where a lot of government tenders are questionable and the source of tenders for financing pools for pro-government media.