Nov 1 polls in Turkey: Some kind of a coalition is in the offing

Nov 1 polls in Turkey: Some kind of a coalition is in the offing

Nov 1 polls in Turkey: Some kind of a coalition is in the offing 

By İlnur Çevik

It appears that voter behavior in the Nov. 1 elections will, due to the displeasing results that followed the failure to form a coalition government after the June 7 elections, be shaped by the desire for a powerful single-party government

This time next week we will be commenting on the results of the Nov. 1 elections.

There are two possibilities. Either the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu will win with a slight majority or will fall just short of a majority and will be forced to establish a coalition with either the left-wing Republican People’s Party (CHP) or the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Even if the AK Party manages to edge into power winning more than 275 seats in the 550-seat Parliament, the party will be hard pushed to push legislation through the house without reaching a compromise with the CHP and MHP and at times even with the Kurdish nationalist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). So all this means that regardless of whether it is this way or the other, the AK Party will always be bargaining with other parties as it rules the country.

So whatever happens on Sunday, the AK Party as well as the CHP, MHP and the HDP will have to develop a culture of compromise and mutual understanding. Without this they will be hard pressed to create a viable atmosphere in Parliament.An election official empties a ballot box at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Istanbul

So it is either a direct coalition partnership with the CHP or the MHP for the AK Party or to rule on its own but having to make mini coalitions during each voting session in Parliament.

The AK Party, of course, would like to establish the government on its own and thus run the country. But when it comes to legislation it will either have to keep its parliamentary group and ranks intact though strict discipline and at times face demands by its own deputies who favor it or it will choose to cooperate with other parties.

In the case of a coalition, things will be equally tough. The fact that Turkey is deeply polarized will not help in a smooth relationship between the AK Party and its coalition partner, whether it is the CHP or MHP. Sooner or later the adversaries of the AK Party will start bringing up old issues like the corruption charges against the four former ministers and the strong influence of President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan on politics.

So it will not be an easy ride for the AK Party in any case.

Turkey faces tough social, economic, international and security issues. Everything needs the attention of a relatively strong government. At home we have to bring sweeping reforms to revamp the judiciary, which is now in shambles. The security forces will also have to be revamped. We have to fine tune the economy as the volatile international financial situation continues. We have the Syrian crisis, the Russian involvement in Syria, the new prospects with the European Union and last but not least the terrorist assault against Turkey from the PKK, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the Revolutionary People’s Party-Front (DHKP-C). The AK Party has a good group of people who can handle such matters but this time it will also need parliamentary strength, which it may not have.

So the months ahead will determine whether Turkey will live through the current stormy period with this Parliament or may need new elections in about two years’ time. (Courtesy: Daily Sabah)

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