If MHP were to become the surprise party of elections
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) came out with higher hopes from their convention and with an elevated bar. Their hopes to become a surprise party in the June 7 elections have increased.
The same claim comes from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as well.
Looking at MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s speech at the convention, it can be seen that election campaigns will focus on the reconciliation process and it will be both the MHP and the HDP that will be most affected by that.
We will learn the results of this effect on the night of June 7; however, make a note of these words by Bahçeli, compiled from his speech:
“We hardened our hearts until today not to be dragged into a brotherly fight; it’s not bearable anymore. Don’t assume that there is an opportunity possible; we will your world will collapse around you. The traitorous schemes of [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan, [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu and their militants will collapse on them. The nationalist movement dares anything for the country…”
Longest standing ovation
I don’t know if you call this a warning or a threat, but these words that indicate a dose of the debate on the election field have been warmly welcomed at the grassroots of the MHP.
Bahçeli was able to create an introverted atmosphere in the convention and triggered enthusiasm.
In the essence of his beyond expectations usage of nationalist discourse laid the idea of activating the newly-elected administrations and more than 2000 candidates, taking them from the comfort zone of domestic party circles to all around the country
Bahçeli has chosen the reconciliation process as his first weapon to hit the government. Bahçeli’s second weapon is Erdoğan and the corruption claims.
His quite harsh sentences defining Erdoğan received the longest standing ovation at the entire convention. It was apparent proof of the acceptance of this weapon by the grassroots.
There is no doubt how Bahçeli’s two election weapons reflect on the grassroots of the MHP, but what about the voters outside them?
A MHP that wants to be the surprise party of the elections should precisely calculate what effect these two weapons have on the central-right voter and the nationalist-conservative voter who has voted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
It was an important shortcoming that Bahçeli did not focus more and only mentioned with general expressions the economy and the financial difficulty that closely concerns the voter.
This inadequacy can be eliminated by comprehensive statements later, but there are other issues in the MHP.
Contrary to what other observers think, the MHP should look into its women initiative and work for it in the candidate lists. It is a positive development, though, that Bahçeli has included about 10 young people in the central body.
Since the Bahçeli whose leadership was debated in the previous convention and whose rival obtained high votes has now climbed back to his incontestable position, he can take many more similar steps.
As a last point, if he is sincere in his “government” target, then he should look into this controversy. If you say, “The AKP will make a new constitution with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK),” then you are declaring the result of the election; who would believe that you will be the government, and how?
This discourse that can also be seen as the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was corrected to a certain extent in Bahçeli’s “thank you” speech, but politics goes quite parallel with the perception created.