Opposition Good Party offers AKP alliance for return to parliamentary system

Turkey’s nationalist opposition Good Party has offered to join the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s coalition, but only if the government agrees to hold elections next year and revert to a parliamentary system.

Good Party parliamentary group leader Lütfü Türkkan made the offer on Wednesday, also demanding five or six ministries from the government after snap elections, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

Türkkan referred to economic problems he said had blighted the AKP’s rule over the last two years, suggesting this could force the party to call elections before the next poll is due in 2023.

A currency crisis that peaked in August 2018 slashed the lira’s value by nearly 30 percent against the dollar by the year’s end, and ordinary people have suffered from rising costs and high unemployment.

“The country’s economic situation is clear. But if (President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan sets a date for elections in 2020 and agrees to return to the parliamentary system, and if he also gives us five or six ministries, we too can make a sacrifice to rebuild the country,” Türkkan said.

Turkey switched from its old parliamentary system to an executive presidential system that vastly enhanced Erdoğan’s powers after the last national elections in 2018.

The decision to change the system came after a constitutional referendum the previous year, which was held under a state of emergency.

The Good Party was founded by rebels from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who objected to their old party’s alliance with the AKP and its support for the move to the presidential system.

“We are following the same principles that the Good Party was founded with two years ago,” Türkkan said. “We’re talking about an alliance with the ruling party. We have not done any bargaining (to that end) either openly or in private. We will not stop fighting until we have secured a return to the parliamentary system.”