AK Party regains majority for single-party rule in repeat election

The snap election results indicated that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has regained the majority in a repeat parliamentary election on Sunday by winning nearly 49 percent of the votes.
Despite pursuing divisive language and showing authoritarian tendencies through repressive policies over the countryand’s dissenting voices, the AK Party, which played the nationalism card by waging war against the countryand’s Kurds after it declared the end of the Kurdish settlement process, seems to have reached its goal to rule the country single-handedly.
Thus, the AK Party managed to secure over 300 seats in Parliament even more than necessary to continue its single-party rule for another term after a break after the June election.
Winning back the parliamentary majority, the AK Party, however, seems to have failed to obtain the votes that will enable it to amend the Constitution in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s wishes to place a presidential system in Turkey by replacing with the current parliamentary system, paving the way for a one-man rule.
After the AK Party lost the majority in Juneand’s election, it put blame on the Kurds by claiming that the Kurds deceived the government during the Kurdish settlement process, which was launched in 2012 with the aim of solving the decades-old Kurdish problem by granting social and cultural rights, prompting the AK Party government to cease negotiations and launch a war in the Southeast against the Kurds. The results also showed that the main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) kept its seats with a 26 percentage in Parliament, the Nationalist Movement Party saw a 7 percent decline as the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Partyand’s (HDP) managed to cross the countryand’s 10 percent election.
With 93 percent of the votes counted, the unofficial results of the election, which many said was more like a referendum that would determine the fate and political future of the country — becoming either more authoritarian or denying President Erdogan the changes he aspires to and curbing his power — indicated that the AK Party received 49 percent, the main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) 25 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 12 percent, while the HDP, which widened its appeal beyond its core Kurdish vote to center-left and secularist segments disillusioned with Erdogan, received 10.4 percent of the nationwide vote. These percentages translate into more than 310 seats for the AK Party, 135 for the CHP, 44 for the MHP and 59 for the HDP.
The participation rate in the vote was 79.98 percent.
Compared to the previous election in which Erdogan conducted an election campaign across the country by launching rallies in favor of the AK Party, a factor considered to have played into the decline of the AK Party votes and support, he preferred to remain behind the scenes this time, a strategy that seems to have worked.
Still, Erdogan was the focus of criticism for violating Article 103 of the Constitution, which addresses the presidentand’s oath of office and clearly states that the president must remain impartial while performing his duties, by taking sides with the AK Party and calling anyone who does not share the AK Partyand’s vision as an andquotenemy.andquot
The rhetoric articulated by leading AK Party figures claiming that an environment of chaos and economic instability will prevail in the country if the AK Party faces yet another defeat in Sundayand’s election seems to have yielded the desired result, the early results showed.
Thus, the country missed a chance to bring the suspects of the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption scandal to the justice in which dozens of prominent AK Party figures, including Erdoganand’s family and inner circle were involved, for another four years, according to the results.
Through controversial penal courts of peace established by the government last summer, the AK Party government ensured the launch of investigations against its critics as well as the police officers who took part in major operations such as the Dec. 17, 2013 graft probe as well as the Balyoz (Sledgehammer), Ergenekon, Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) and Tawhid-Salam investigations. These operations shook public confidence in the legal system and strengthened fears about the formation of a government-controlled judiciary. The operations led to dozens of experienced police officers being detained, arrested or dismissed.
h2 Party leaders highlight importance of election after casting votes h2 Leaders of the major political parties in the country were in unity over one thing on the morning of Nov. 1: the importance of Sundayand’s vote for Turkeyand’s future. That was the general tone of the leadersand’ messages after each casting their vote while calling for respect no matter what the ballot box reveals.
Turkish voters went to the polls in a repeat election on Sunday due to the failure of coalition talks following the June 7 general election in which none of the political parties managed to win the necessary number of seats to establish a single-party government. Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader and interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu who cast his vote central province of Konya, which is his hometown, told reporters after voting that he wishes the result of the election to be beneficial for Turkey and the whole of humanity.
Davutoilu said he would deliver his partyand’s traditional balcony speech again after the vote counting process is over. The balcony speeches used to be made by the AK Partyand’s former leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is now the countryand’s president, during election nights to make an assessment of the election result for the party. Davutoilu will again be following this tradition.
Casting his vote at the iandukrandu Doruk Girl Anatolian imam Hatip School, Davutoilu spoke to a group of journalists in front of the school, and made a blunder by saying that he will deliver a andquotholiday speechandquot whatever the election result would be. Later, Davutoilu corrected his words by saying, he will make a andquotbalcony speechandquot in which the AK Party leader addresses party supporters.
President Erdogan, who this time preferred not to hold rallies prior to the election contrary to the June 7 election — although he did hold consecutive meetings with mukhtars who are representatives of villages and neighborhoods in Turkey — cast his vote at the Saffet andcebi Middle School in Istanbuland’s anduskandudar district alongside his wife Emine and their daughter Sandumeyye.
CHP leader Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu, who cast his vote in Ankara alongside his wife and their son, emphasized the importance of the election, saying it is vital for the future of the nation, the republic and its children.
HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtai, who voted in Istanbuland’s Sultanbeyli district, told reporters that the election marks an historic moment in terms of Turkeyand’s political history, adding, andquotI hope the results will serve the countryand’s [need for] peace and freedom, which we need more than anything. The pre-election period was full of stress and problems. Some of our friends sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace and freedom. I hope the overall results will ease the pain that their families have suffered.andquot

SOURCE: TODAY”S ZAMAN

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