Jul 03 2018

Former deputy Kuzu says his absence caused drop in AKP support at polls

Former deputy and one of the founding members of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Burhan Kuzu said that the drop in support for AKP in Turkey’s June 24 parliamentary election was due to his name not appearing on the candidate list, secular Cumhuriyet daily reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling AKP secured 41.8 percent of the vote in last month’s parliamentary polls, almost eight points lower than its performance in the last general election which took place in November 2015. AKP lost its majority in parliament and must share power with ally far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

‘’I served as deputy for four terms. I am one of the founders of the AKP. I took a break due to the three term limitation on June 7, 2015. It was a short break that lasted until Nov.1, 2015. The June 7 [2015] election was lost because I wasn’t there. And again on June 24 they didn’t have me as  a candidate and they lost again…. We need to take note of my absence,’’ Kuzu said.

The former AKP MP who served as head of the parliamentary constitution committee went on to praise the new executive presidential system, which he said he was the ‘’founding father’’ of.

Turkey’s new system is set to come into effect following last month’s polls and is criticised for giving sweeping powers to the president while having no serious mechanism of checks and balances.