AK Party sustains major blow in election

The result of Sundayand’s general election is a major blow to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which has failed, for the first time since it came to power in 2002, to obtain enough votes to form a single-party government, although it is still the party that received the most votes.
A change of guard in the party may be sought ahead of possible early elections if the party decides to move its ordinary congress, scheduled to be held in the fall, to an earlier date. Some leading members of the ruling party, but particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who headed the party for many years, may put some of the blame for the and”failureand” on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu.
The ruling party got 40.7 percent of the votes on June 7, but saw its votes sharply decline by 9 percentage points compared to the general election of 2011.
Its number of deputies fell, according to unofficial data with almost 99 percent of the ballot boxes counted as of noon on Monday, from 326 to 254.
The AK Party lost support in all 81 provinces across the nation and doubled the number of provinces where it failed to obtain a single seat. The party did not win any seats in Hakkari, Iidir, Tunceli, Airi, iirnak or Mui provinces.
It was able to increase the number of seats it holds in only one province, Erzincan, while losing seats in 45 provinces and preserving the same number of seats in 29 provinces.
The worst results for the AK Party were recorded in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country where the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) led the polls.
If the partyand’s congress is moved to an earlier date, it might consider former president Abdullah Gandul, who currently has no ties with the party, or another figure like Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmui, or party deputy chairmen like Sanduleyman Soylu and Mustafa ientop for the position of chairman of the party.
President Erdogan, some claim, might also consider resigning from his post and seek to have himself re-elected as the party chairman at the congress if he feels he could reverse the bleed in the party. To discuss possible coalition scenarios and snap elections, Davutoilu met on Monday with Cabinet members and members of the partyand’s Central Executive Board (MYK).
Following the meeting, Davutoilu is expected to meet with Erdogan at the presidential palace.
Based on the current distribution of deputies among the parties, a coalition government is inevitable, as no single party managed to win 276 deputies, the absolute majority in a 550-member Parliament needed to form a government.
But the coalition is expected, by most accounts, to be formed only to endure until possible snap elections that could be held in the fall.
Former president Gandul might also cooperate to form a new party with some AK Party deputies who were not able to run for Parliament in Sundayand’s election because of the partyand’s self-imposed three-term limit. According to the rule, no deputy can run for Parliament for more than three consecutive terms. There are over 70 AK Party deputies who recently completed their third term in Parliament.
Some other ruling party deputies who are concerned about Erdoganand’s past interventions in the party as well as potentially in the future, in addition to his much-opposed desire to shift to a presidential system could also offer support for such an initiative that could be led by Gandul.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu said on Sunday evening that the AK Party was the clear winner in the election and vowed to take all necessary measures to prevent harm to Turkeyand’s political stability.
He said in an address from the balcony of the partyand’s headquarters in Ankara to thousands of AK Party sympathizers: and”The AK Party is the winner and the leader in this election.and”
During one of the partyand’s election rallies last month, Davutoilu said he would resign if his party failed to form a single-party government.
The prime minister made no mention of this earlier vow he made during a rally in Hatay, but called on the opposition parties instead to make an honest evaluation of election results saying, and”No one should try to build a victory from an election they lost.and”
No opposition party seems to be interested in forming a coalition with the AK Party they believe such a collaboration would generate a negative reaction from their voters.
Based on their pledges, no opposition party is expected to form a coalition with the AK Party, as the public identifies the ruling party with corruption, authoritarian rule and discourse bordering on hate speech toward the opposition.
It is also widely accused of provoking the civil war in Syria by letting weapons and radical Islamist terrorists cross the countryand’s border with Syria to support the rebel groups fighting against the Syrian government.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman