Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) officials gathered on Jan. 18 to discuss legal procedures for what they call a national alliance they want to form for the 2019 elections.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül, Parliament’s Constitutional Commission head Mustafa Şentop and AKP Spokesperson Mahir Ünal met with MHP lawmakers Mehmet Parsak, Mustafa Kalaycı and İsmail Faruk Aksu in parliament to launch talks for a set of legal changes on the Election Law and Political Parties’ Law.
“This work is not only for the election alliance but also on laws that need to be harmonized,” Kalaycı told reporters after the meeting.
“There is an agreement on fundamental issues,” he added.
Şentop informed that the commission will continue its work in the coming days and weeks. The next meeting will be held on Jan. 23.
Following the April 2017 referendum that changed the country’s governance system through extensive constitutional changes, Turkey now has to harmonize the aforementioned laws with the new constitution.
The call for alliance was first made by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli who recently announced that his party will not present a candidate for the 2019 presidential elections and instead will support AKP chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He also called on the AKP to form an alliance for parliamentary elections which will be held simultaneously with the presidential polls.
The MHP had supported the AKP in its bid to shift Turkey to an executive presidential system, narrowly approved in the contested referendum in April 2017.
But the MHP’s support continued after the referendum. Bahçeli said the MHP will be in alliance with the ruling party also during the implementation of the constitutional changes after the 2019 elections and would endorse Erdoğan for presidency.
As the 18-article constitutional amendment rules that legislative harmonization must be finalized before the elections, the MHP has demanded a change in the existing law on political parties and elections in order to make the two party’s de facto alliance legal in the upcoming elections.