AKP, MHP to form alliance commission for legislative harmonization

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The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will form a parliamentary commission to work on legislative harmonization, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and MHP head Devlet Bahçeli held a meeting to discuss their alliance in elections due in 2019.

“With the help of commissions to be formed in the coming period, this issue will be technically worked out,” AKP spokesperson Mahir Ünal said after a meeting with AKP lawmakers Erdoğan in Ankara on Jan. 11.

The president and Bahçeli met after the MHP leader announced on Jan. 9 that his party will not present its own candidate in the 2019 presidential election and will endorse Erdoğan instead.

The MHP had supported the AKP in its bid to shift Turkey to an executive presidential system, narrowly approved in a contested referendum in April 2017. The 18-article constitutional amendment stipulated that legislative harmonization must be finalized before the next parliamentary and presidential elections, and the MHP has demanded a change in the existing law on political parties and elections to legalize its pre-election alliance with the AKP.

Bahçeli’s endorsement of Erdoğan has been interpreted as a move from the MHP to push for the legislative changes to be made quickly, in order to seal the pre-election alliance.

Speaking to reporters on Jan. 11, Ünal said the AKP see the alliance with the MHP as a “national agreement.”

“Right now, the AKP is working on this alliance issue within the framework of legislative harmonization. A commission will be formed with three members each from the AKP and the MHP,” he said, adding that the schedule for the formation of this commission has yet to be settled.

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