AKP flirting with CHP, to marry MHP

AKP flirting with CHP, to marry MHP

As is said, “actions speak louder than words.” Ruling Justice and development Party (AKP) has been in coalition talks with the Republican People’s Party (CHP). The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party has been shunned by all, particularly by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). MHP itself has declared that it was not interested in becoming part of any coalition formula, particularly in any formulae or effort that covertly or overtly included the HDP.

AKP and MHP share the same grassroots. One is more Islamist, the other more nationalist, but indeed they are nothing but a bit blurred reflection of each other. One is accused of graft, the other selected someone narrowly escaped persecution from graft as parliamentary deputy speaker from its contingency. MHP has been saying Erdoğan should abandon the “clandestine palace” but unlike the CHP did not see any harm sending MHP members of the Parliamentary Speakership Council to a visit of the president at the extravagant palace.

Dear friend and colleague, Hurriyet Daily News editor Murat Yetkin in two separate articles wisely put the issue many of us have been talking about right from the June 7 election night: AKP is talking with the CHP but acting with the MHP… Is the president’s HDP-bashing paving the way for an AKP-MHP coalition instead of the CHP?

Can the CHP indeed engage in any deal with the AKP for a four-year coalition government? AKP does not have any policy or principle other than what is dictated to it by its absolute master, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while the CHP despite all its odds has a working inner democracy and even its leader cannot win in discussions all the time and feel compelled to compromise.

Press freedom, individual liberties, powers of police and gendarmerie, as well as local authorities, Kurdish aspirations and the opening and of course the grossly failed foreign policy of the AKP will be just some of the heavy luggage an AKP-CHP government will have difficulty in shouldering. The two parties cannot reconcile and compromise to form a government policy  particularly if CHP insists on “constitutional powers for the president” demand. Can CHP, for example, accept a Sunni-obsessive Syria policy or an anti-terrorism drive mimicking as if attacking Islamist terrorists while indeed trying to exterminate Kurdish plans to establish in the Syrian territory a united Kurdish territory along Turkish border down to northern Iraq?

The parliamentary vote in which the AKP and the MHP collaborated against the CHP and the HDP – even though the MHP petitioned just days ago a similar motion – to prevent creation of a parliamentary inquiry committee to investigate how Turkey failed in the fight against terrorism and why the Suruç bombing in which 32 people perished over 70 people seriously wounded earlier this month. Why the AKP agreed to an extraordinary parliamentary session on the issue, why it rejected creation of the inquiry committee and why the MHP joined the AKP to kill demands of the other two opposition parties? Was it not the same MHP who out of its enmity to the HDP refused to support CHP candidate Deniz Baykal for parliament’s speakership on grounds he would be supported also by the HDP and presented parliament’s speakership in golden plate to the AKP?

The coalition of the two parties is already there. MHP is shy perhaps, cannot announce it for now, but the coalition is there. But, if anyone expects this be an orthodox marriage to continue until the next elections in four years time, they are mistaken. Yes, it will be a government to stay in office until election but the election will be in 90 days time.

Why is that? There are practical reasons. It will be a marriage of convenience. AKP’s talks with CHP is apparently just an effort to exhaust all probabilities before shifting to talks with MHP to form an “election government” instead of letting the president call for a repeat poll on grounds no government could be established within constitutional time limits. Why the AKP and Erdoğan will opt for that? It is simple.

Under article 114 of the constitution, if there is a repeat election decided by the president, within five days after such a decision is made an “election period transitional” premier must be appointed. That premier, excluding the justice, interior and communications ministers, must establish a government from ministers distributed according to the parliamentary strength of parties. If any party decides to stay away from that transitional government, its contingency of ministries will be filled by “independents” from within or outside parliament. A repeat poll, thus, means elections without the AKP in government.

But, if the AKP can make an election coalition with the MHP and let the parliamentary majority of the two parties decide an early election “within 90 days” than the AKP and its partner can stay in office and continue extravagantly using all public coffers to finance its election campaign. Also, they may continue the war, pump up nationalism and hope to win back lost electoral support.