Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu visited İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener at the latter’s Ankara headquarters, with the two leaders highlighting the importance of ballot box security after controversial recent legal changes.
“Everybody should go to the ballot boxes and use their votes with confidence. We will protect all the ballot boxes and we will struggle together to bring a strong democracy to this country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a joint press conference following the CHP’s visit to the İYİ Party on April 12.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s visit came as the CHP steps up work to build an opposition front within the framework of their objection to recent amendments in the election law and the party law.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) together passed a legislative package paving the way for a pre-election alliance, and the CHP argues that the changes will threaten election safety in favor of the AKP-MHP alliance.
The CHP leader has already held meetings with the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) on the grounds of “election security,” stressing that the meetings were not held within the framework of forming an official election alliance.
“We reciprocally expressed our sensitivity on election security in the meeting,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The İYİ Party has endorsed Meral Akşener as its candidate for the presidential elections and deputy leader Aytun Çıray recently told daily Sözcü that the party may consider forming “natural alliances” if Akşener reaches the second round of the presidential race.
Çıray stressed that the SP and the DP have agreed on forming “alliance on principle,” echoing the CHP leader’s previous dubbing for a possible oppositional front.
“Everybody should enter the presidential election on their own. Alliances can be made in the next round,” Akşener said on April 10 in a visit to local store owners in Istanbul.
Opposition parties have not yet made any comments on forming an alliance in parliamentary elections, despite the MHP and the AKP’s formal announcement of a “People’s Alliance.”
Tension in politics should be reduced
Speaking on April 12, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu also said he and Akşener both expressed concerns over rising tension in politics in Turkey, saying “politics should be cleared of tensions and courtesy should come to the fore.”
“We may have different thoughts and different opinions, but we are voicing these different thoughts and opinions for the salvation of Turkey and we are referring to the people’s judgement,” he added.
“The existing environment of tension should be suspended and even eliminated,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.