Mar 29 2018

Turkish opposition may unite against Erdoğan

Turkey’s opposition parties may unite against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is conducting negotiations with other political parties to form a pre-election alliance after rules governing national polls were changed two weeks ago.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP’s leader, said meetings were ongoing, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on March 28. He has met leaders of the Good Party, the Felicity Party and the Democrat Party over recent days.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has changed election regulations to enable it to form an alliance with the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) of Devlet Bahceli. Presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey are due in November next year.

“Of course, there are meetings,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “But I don’t want to give too many details yet, it would not be right to do so at this stage.”

The alliance between the CHP and other parties would not come into force for local elections due in March next year, Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The Good Party was formed by previous MHP politician Meral Akşener last year. The Felicity Party is a religious party that was formerly part of Turkey’s Islamist movement along with Erdogan’s AKP. The Democrat Party is a small centre-right group.

Turkey’s 10 percent vote threshold required to enter parliament makes it difficult for smaller parties to win seats on their own.