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Iran Press TV

Turkey can consider early election: Nationalist party leader

Iran Press TV

Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:36PM

Leader of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) says an early election could be called in the country if an alliance between the MHP and the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) fails to form a majority in the parliament after the June 24 elections.

"When the presidency and parliament come to the point where they can't work in unison, there are ways out of this under the constitutional changes and they are carried out. For example, an ... early election could be considered," said MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli on Tuesday.

Opinion polls suggest that an AKP-MHP alliance could narrowly lose its parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections while the presidential race, which will be held simultaneously, may enter a runoff.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the AKP and Bahceli agreed in April to move elections more than a year earlier. That was meant to enable Erdogan to enjoy extended presidential powers which were approved in a referendum last year.

However, Erdogan could face problems in using those powers if his party falls short of a parliamentary majority.

Bahceli said under the new constitution, the president or parliament would have the right to call snap elections when there was a "blockage" in the governance system.

Erdogan has himself stressed that he will need a "strong parliament" in his future administration, calling on voters to avoid the "disturbing attempt" of supporting him for the presidency but not the AKP.

Senior figures in the AKP have suggested that the party would win at least 300 seats in the new parliament, which will have 50 more seats than the previous assembly.

A main obstacle for a convincing majority for an AKP-MHP alliance would be the popularity of the pro-Kurdish opposition in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast. The Kurds could win dozens of seats if they pass a 10-percent threshold needed to enter parliament. However, the AKP would have a majority if seats won by the Kurds go to the second most popular party in case the 10-percent criterion is not met.

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