Worsening economic conditions and the uncertain future of AKP – MHP alliance are two main factors in having a decision to make snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, 2018, says Valdai Club expert Sinan Oğan, Turkish politician, member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, founder and president of the Center for International Relations and Strategic Analysis TURKSAM (since 2004).
It seems that the presidential elections will not finish in the first round. Almost all the opposition parties will go to the polls with their own candidates who are experienced and have gained sympathy from their own grassroots, Sinan Oğan said in an interview with www.valdaiclub.com.
MHP is the only political party who has a group in parliament who does not have its own candidate and previously decided to support President Erdogan, but it is so suspicious that the Turkish nationalists will move in the same direction. The pro-government discourse of MHP Leader Devlet Bahçeli is not fully adopted by MHP voters. Because of this properly opposition parties can increase the turnout in their favor. They have a chance to increase the motivation of their voters. Mr. Erdogan wants to finish it on June 24, because if the elections go to the second round, the opposition will be more desirous like it has never seen before.
It will be the first elections after the referendum which was held in last year’s April. With the satisfactory candidate lists, the opposition bloc can have a chance to win the majority of the seats in Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
As to four-party opposition bloc, according to the new legal regulation, political parties can form alliances in the elections while protecting their own corporate identity. The votes that will be given to these four political parties will be counted as it is given to the alliance. Columns of these four parties will be next to each other and they are framed with the column of the bloc. The logos of the political parties keep their place in their own column and the bloc’s name will be written above them.
There are two main factors in having a decision to make snap elections in Turkey. First, worsening economic conditions, and second, the uncertain future of AKP – MHP alliance. During the elections that brought AKP to power in 2002, the economic issues were the primary topics in the agenda of the voters. The coalition tumbled because of the economic factors in 2002. Nowadays, the situation of worsening economy is more serious than before. Regarding that, Mr. Erdogan preferred to make snap elections before an expected economic crisis. Nevertheless, the economy is one of the most important determinants that affect voters’ preferences.
Turkish diaspora in Europe can also play its role in forthcoming snap elections. The unpleasant cases like putting bans on Turkish ministers and avoiding their rallies in Europe encouraged the Turks living in Europe to vote for pro-government policies. A rapprochement process between Turkey and Europe has started in the first months of this year but did not give fruitful results. On the other hand, the policies of Mr. Erdogan increased the pressure on Turks in Europe so it may not be the same again.