Wrap-up: Turkey's AKP loses majority, HDP passes 10 pct
CİHAN PhotoTurkey witnessed dramatic changes in its political landscape on June 7 after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) crossed the notorious 10 percent threshold needed to enter parliament as a party.
The blow to the AKP, as well as to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hopes of assuming greater powers through the implementation of a presidential system, came amid the HDP’s success in become the first-ever party focusing on the Kurdish issue to win 10 percent of the vote.
With around 12 percent of the vote, the HDP is likely to take around 80 of parliament’s 550 seats.
Because of Turkey’s electoral system, the HDP’s failure to receive 10 percent would have handed the AKP the two-thirds parliamentary majority it needs to transform the country into a presidential system under Erdoğan.
The AKP, however, failed in its quest. The difference that the HDP made in Turkey’s political landscape can best be seen in the southeastern Anatolian region where it has a strong grassroots. Thanks to the bizarre electoral system, in the past, the failure of Kurdish political movement to be represented as a party in parliament worked in favor of the ruling AKP, but in the June 7 vote, the HDP proved itself to be the kingmaker of the election.
The AKP, meanwhile, preserved its votes in the capital Ankara, but lost votes in the two other biggest metropolitan cities, Istanbul and İzmir.
As for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), it preserved its voting numbers of around 25 percent. Although the social democratic party’s election manifesto attracted wide interest, this interest did not translate into more votes. Some observers suggested that the reason for this situation was “the entrusted votes” cast to the HDP by CHP supporters who believed that the HDP needed their support to pass the threshold and that they needed the HDP to be in parliament in order to foil Erdoğan’s presidential system ambitions.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the name of which has been cited as a potential coalition partner for the AKP, did not categorically rule out such a formation. However, a deputy chair of the party said it was too early to say whether the party would consider such a formula.
In the 2011 parliamentary elections, the MHP received 53 seats by winning 13 percent of the vote. In the June 7 vote, the MHP appeared to have won 81 seats with 17 percent of the vote.