There will be snap elections in 2018, İYİ Party leader Akşener argues

There will be snap elections in 2018, İYİ Party leader Akşener argues

Uğur Ergan - ANKARA
There will be snap elections in 2018, İYİ Party leader Akşener argues

Turkey will hold snap presidential and parliamentary elections in 2018, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has said, adding that her party might support the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) if their candidate goes to the second round.

“I anticipate the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on July 15, 2018. It falls on a Sunday, that is the expectation,” Akşener told journalists on Dec. 28.

Turkey is scheduled to hold three elections in 2019, and the change in the governance system, stipulated by the constitutional amendments approved in the April referendum, will fully be in effect after the presidential elections and parliamentary elections.

“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will never hold local elections before the general elections. Because they receive fewer votes in local elections,” Akşener said.

Stressing that the İYİ Party will present its own candidate in the presidential elections, she said she wants to form an alliance with the liberal Democratic Party (DP) and conservative opposition Felicity Party (SP).

“We will not form an alliance with the CHP in the first round, because in the presidential elections, all parties have to present their own candidates. The İYİ Party has an ambition. The moment that you form an alliance with the CHP, our votes will disappear,” she said.

“We might support the CHP’s candidate if their nominee passes to the second round,” Akşener said.

Akşener, who was once a Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy, argues her party covers the center right-wing political scene in Turkey with her new party.

She said the party’s preliminary researches indicate a positive outlook for her party in the western, eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey.

“In Turkey’s west, people are going back and forth between the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] and the CHP, while in Turkey’s southeast, they are swinging between the AKP and HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party],” she said, adding that the MHP’s alliance with the AKP in the April referendum had a negative impact on the MHP’s votes.

Akşener said she is not expecting an alliance between the MHP and the AKP in the upcoming elections because MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli “would not want to sit in the AKP’s seats in parliament.”

Her comments came amid a discussion in Turkey on whether the two parties will form an alliance in the elections.

“Erdoğan might offer 60 to 70 seats to the MHP. But if I know Bahçeli well, he will not sit on an AKP seat and won’t let any other MHP figures either,” she said.