Opposition talks on poll alliance, security accelerate
As opposition parties accelerate alliance talks for the 2019 elections, Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu has said his party is not considering taking part in the “People’s Alliance,” after a visit by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Mustafa Şentop.
“Our stance regarding the alliance is clear. It is not on our agenda,” Karamollaoğlu said late on March 2, following a three-hour meeting with Şentop, who is also the head of the “People’s Alliance” commission.
The AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) “People’s Alliance” commission accelerated its efforts to legalize pre-election alliances with a legislative proposal submitted to parliament and to bring new parties into the discussion.
Stating that Turkey isn’t in an election period yet, Karamollaoğlu dismissed there would be any “alliance” for now.
“How has this atmosphere of alliance emerged in the media? I believe it was because of the legislative proposal [made by the AKP and the MHP]. There is no alliance other than the one between the AKP and MHP,” Karamollaoğlu said.
Asked whether the two parties will meet again, Karamollaoğlu said his SP is open to discussion with all parties.
“I am saying this clearly: There won’t be any party that we will not talk to. We will talk with everybody but especially as elections approach, we will decide in accordance with the circumstances of that day,” he said.
The SP, a fringe party that failed to receive more than one percent of the votes in the 2015 elections, has attracted the attention of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) after it stood against constitutional changes that the AKP and the MHP supported in the April 2017 referendum.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu met with Karamollaoğlu on Jan. 4. The CHP leader later hinted the main opposition could consider cooperating against the “People’s Alliance” with other parties within the framework of “an alliance of principles.”
“Potential principles could be determined; if there is a unity in line with those principles, [the alliance] will be formed based on those principles,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Feb. 27.
“We will embrace everybody within the context of democracy. Not from this party or that party; but whoever defends democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and conscience, and freedom of judicial independence, we will struggle for democracy with them,” he said.
Apart from the SP, the İYİ (Good) Party was also mentioned alongside other parties that could take part in the “alliance of principles.”
A CHP delegation on March 2 had paid a visit to the İYİ Party offices to voice their concerns over the AKP-MHP alliance to pass a legislative package.
The package includes issues concerning electoral safety and pre-election alliances, but the CHP says the changes in the election law will further “endanger the legitimacy of future elections.”
“The proposal has been discussed within the framework of alliances. However, the provisions that harm electoral security has been ignored,” Tezcan said after the meeting.
The main opposition has formed a commission regarding this matter, and in following days it will continue to hold talks with other parties, including the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).