Turkish election possibilities
Turkey has serious problems regarding just and fair elections. “Equality” is a very important concept for democratic governance, as are “justice” and “respect for law.” Unfortunately, over the past 16 years state funds and resources have increasingly been channeled by one political group to fund its electoral campaigns, disguised as “inauguration” of certain projects that have mostly already been put into use in the past.
All top courts of the country, including the Supreme Electoral Board, have become subservient to the political authorities. What’s more, one presidential candidate and one electoral alliance have been utilizing all kinds of public resources and funds, while opposition candidates and parties have been conducting electoral campaigns with limited resources.
Worse, one presidential candidate is conducting his presidential campaign from jail. Was he sentenced and is he serving a prison term? No. Why is he in prison? Can he flee the country? Doesn’t this country have the means and resources to prevent such an escape attempt?
Still, every election poses at least some degree of risk for ruling politicians, even if the race is not just or fair. There remain several possibilities that could emerge from the snap presidential and parliamentary elections ballot boxes on June 24. Let me list some of the possible results.
1- The first possibility is that incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as well as his alliance between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) emerge victorious.
2- The second possibility is that Erdoğan succeeds in his reelection bid but the parliamentary majority goes to the alliance of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the İYİ (Good) Party and the Felicity Party, plus the Kurdish issued-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
3- The third possibility is that the presidency goes to either CHP candidate Muharrem İnce or İYİ Party candidate Meral Akşener over two rounds, while parliament is held by the AKP-MHP alliance.
4- The fourth possibility is a double victory of the opposition: Winning both the presidency and parliament.
5- The final, unlikely, possibility is that the elections are canceled altogether because of a Constitutional Court ruling, an emergency development, a war, or something equally terrible.
If elections are neither just nor fair from the start, what is the point of speculating about any of these possibilities? If there is an “absolute decision maker” deciding for all Turkish citizens, and if there is a rampant fear of election rigging, is there any meaning in talking about a prospective electoral victory of the opposition?
Hope dies last. If confidence in the capability of this nation to overcome fear and decide for change fails, then it is obvious that the struggle is lost before even it started.
The latest opinion polls show that - depending on the success of the HDP and the Felicity Party - a parliamentary majority could well go to the opposition parties, very much like the June 2015 election. The HDP crossing the 10 percent national threshold could give it between 40 and 80 deputies, depending on its percentage and where it receives its votes from. A 5-6 percent additional Felicity Party vote could bring the non-HDP opposition alliance to around 40 percent and as many as 280 deputies. Together with the HDP, the opposition overall could get as many as 350 or more seats in the new 600-seat unicameral parliament.
It seems that the HDP and the Felicity Party could therefore be the new kingmakers - or as a friend suggested “king -layers” - of the “new Turkey.”