Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an interview late on June 20 that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may seek to form a coalition if it fails to secure a parliamentary majority in the elections on June 24.
Polls indicate the elections may be closer than anticipated since Erdoğan’s calls for snap elections in April, suggesting he may be pushed to a second-round run-off for the presidency, and his AKP could lose its majority in the 600-seat assembly.
“If it is under 300 [seats], then there could be a search for a coalition,” the president said in an interview with Kral FM radio station. He added that the probability of this was “very, very low.”
The president’s statements, however, have shown a change in his political outlook.
No leeway for coalition in new system: Erdoğan in May
“The new system will not allow for coalitions to be formed,” the president had said on May 4, speaking in Istanbul at the opening ceremony of the Spice Bazaar, which has been under restoration.
“The president and [his or her] team will rule the country for five years [after the elections],” Erdoğan said.
Electoral ally MHP says another round of elections ‘possible’
The AKP has formed the electoral “People’s Alliance” with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) before the elections, which will herald a switch to a new powerful executive presidency narrowly approved in a referendum last year.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said on June 18 that another election could be held if his alliance with the AKP cannot form a majority in parliament after Sunday’s vote, although Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım of the AKP has ruled out the possibility of calling another snap election after the June 24 polls.
“No, there is no need for such a thing [early election]. We cannot keep the nation busy with elections,” Yıldırım said on June 19 during a broadcasted interview.
Some 60 million registered Turkish voters will be eligible to hit the polls on June 24 in a landmark presidential and parliamentary election, during which votes will be put in a single envelope for the first time.
On the presidential side, Muharrem İnce from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is looking to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while the CHP is campaigning for a solid parliamentary showing, entering the election as part of the “Nation Alliance,” an electoral formation including the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, the conservative Felicity Party (SP).
The elections, which were originally scheduled to be held in 2019 were rescheduled in April following a joint proposal made by Bahçeli and Erdoğan.