HDP: Turkey snap elections blackmail to lawmakers

AKP’s new-found ally from the opposition, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli on Thursday suggested the country could go to elections.

ANKARA, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – Prospects of general snap elections in Turkey were mere "threats, and blackmailing" to current lawmakers, declared a top pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) official on Sunday.

HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was using election talks to threaten some of its lawmakers presumably unwilling to vote yes on a constitutional reform package empowering the President.

“If the AKP wants to carry out a house cleaning, there is no need to further polarize the country and put it in more risk,” said Bilgen in an interview with Kurdistan24.

There have been reports in the Turkish media of some AKP members being secretly against an extension of Erdogan’s authority.

AKP’s new-found ally from the opposition, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli on Thursday suggested the country could go to elections if the Parliament failed to pass the package his party’s central leadership supports.

However, the MHP has serious fallings-out within as the intra-party opposition figures remain sidelined.

Moreover, elections could mean not being able to make it to the Parliament given the 10 percent threshold because of some voters’ disappointment in the alliance with the AKP.

The main secularist opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) which opposes the President’s empowerment challenged the government and MHP “to bring it on.”

Erdogan had said on Friday the elections were undesirable but could be an option “if the Parliament was made unworkable.”

The AKP-MHP alliance needs 330 yes votes from the 550-seat Parliament for each of the 18 articles of the proposed bill that could change the country’s parliamentary democracy for a presidential one.

The AKP, which has 317 lawmakers, and the MHP with 39 have so far managed to pass 16 articles with relative ease, a majority of them with over 340 votes.

Some MHP lawmakers have voiced opposition to the bill, agreeing with the CHP that it would bring about a regime change they see as abandoning the republic’s founder Kemal Ataturk’s legacy.

The HDP have also been opposed to empowering Erdogan but abstained from voting on the bill.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

(Kurdistan24 Ankara Bureau contributed to this report)