The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) “is ready for elections to be held at any time,” said CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan on April 17 in response to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader’s call for snap elections.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu regarded the move as “a confession” that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) “could not rule the state.”
“They [AKP] cannot rule the state anymore. Their spokesperson has called for [early] elections. They are saying ‘we cannot rule anymore, we will leave,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said, addressing his party in the Turkish Parliament.
“[They say] the citizens should dismiss us, we need rulers that will rule this country properly, who are frank and honorable. They admit they cannot rule anymore,” he said.
His comments came after MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli stirred a debate on snap elections when he called to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on Aug. 26, 2018, a year and a half earlier than the scheduled date.
As the government is preparing to extend the state of emergency rule for the seventh time in April, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the ruling AKP of “seeking a way to go into elections through oppression.”
“No matter what you do, this nation will not buckle under you,” said the CHP leader.
“Bring it on! As the CHP, we are always ready for elections. We had already said we were,” said Tezcan, answering questions from reporters in the southern province of Hatay.
“While discussions on elections have been ongoing and comments have been made backstage, we have always claimed to become the ruling party. To become a ruling party necessitates elections and polls, so bring it on!” he said.
The ruling AKP has formed an alliance with the MHP for the presidential and parliamentary elections. Tezcan criticized the alliance as a “one-man coalition.” The current problems that Turkey has been experiencing stem from “the one man regime they have created.”
“The one man coalition has brought Turkey to an irreversible point. Responsibility for all basic problems, such as unemployment, poverty, the downfall in education, unrest, social conflict, polarization, the destruction of democracy and freedom, and the destruction of law and justice lies within the one man regime,” he said.
The CHP is opposing the executive system change that will be fully in effect after parliamentary and presidential elections, arguing that the new system will harm democratic principles by granting sweeping authorities to the president-elect, dubbing the new system as a “one man regime.”