Coalition, snap election most likely after general election

A coalition, minority government and a snap election are the most probable scenarios following Sundayand’s general election should the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) officially pass the election threshold as expected, thereby crippling the ruling partyand’s chances of forming a single-party government.
Despite a predicted significant loss in votes, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is expected all the same to emerge as the leading party in the June 7 election once results become official.
Seventy-five percent of the votes cast were counted early on Sunday evening, with the AK Party having received a little less than 41 percent of the vote. Based on this figure, the ruling party will only have between 250 and 260 deputies elected to Parliament, which is not sufficient to form a single-party government.
According to the figures based on 75 percent of the votes having been cast that were announced by the Cihan news agency, the HDP had passed the election threshold with slightly over 12 percent of the vote. The main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) received about 25 percent while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) got 17 percent of the vote.
CHP deputy Mahmut Tanal said on Twitter the figures signify the end of President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s dream of switching to a presidential system.
The AK Party may wish, as previously suggested by Binali Yildirim, an AK Party deputy who is a top aiser to Erdogan, to form a minority government.
A minority government could also be formed through a coalition by the CHP and the MHP, which could be supported by the HDP.
Based on their recent pledges, no opposition party is expected to form a coalition with the AK Party as the ruling party is identified by the public with corruption, authoritarian rule and discourse bordering on hate speech towards the opposition.
But the problem is that it will also be quite difficult to form a coalition government without the ruling party, which, polls also indicate, is expected to receive around 40 percent of the vote.
According to recent surveys, the two other parties currently represented in Parliament — the CHP and the MHP — are expected to get around 26-28 percent and between 14 and 18 percent of the vote, respectively.
The ruling party will not be able to form a single-party government if the pro-Kurdish HDP manages to pass the 10 percent threshold as, in such a scenario, the ruling party will lose a significant number of deputies to the HDP in the predominantly Kurdish Southeast.
To form a single-party government, a party must obtain at least 276 deputies, which represents an absolute majority in a Parliament comprising 550 seats.
It is very improbable for the pro-Kurdish HDP and the nationalist MHP to participate in a coalition together, with the MHP viewing the HDP as a party closely linked with the outlawed Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK).
A CHP coalition with either of the opposition parties would not be possible, either, as they would fail to have 276 deputies to form a government.
Under the scenario in which the HDP passes the threshold, the only possibility of a coalition seems to be between the biggest parties — the AK Party and the CHP, which is highly unlikely.
CHP leader Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu announced on May 28 that his party would not form a coalition government with the AK Party because it could not work alongside a party that has embraced corruption as a and”principle.and”
Appearing on a TV program on May 18, MHP leader Devlet Bahandceli also ruled out the possibility of forming a coalition government with the AK Party if the latter were to lose its majority in Parliament. HDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtai also followed suit, saying the HDP would not form a government with the AK Party.
Although all the three leaders of the opposition have declared they would not join forces with the AK Party in a coalition, the possibility cannot be completely ruled out.
Despite the harsh rhetoric of the opposition, the CHP and the MHP could agree to come together with the AK Party in a coalition in return for some substantial benefits that being in government would bestow on them.
Similarly, the pro-Kurdish HDP, which is seeking autonomy for the predominantly Kurdish southeast, could decide to form a coalition with the ruling party if the AK Party agrees to grant autonomy to the southeastern region.
The HDP is a partner of the government in a currently stalled settlement process launched to resolve the countryand’s decades-old Kurdish issue and terrorism problem.
In return, the HDP could agree to a shift to the presidential system which Erdogan has been pushing for. Before being elected president in August of last year, Erdogan headed the ruling party governments for the past 11 years.
It is highly possible that any coalition government that the AK Party forms with the CHP or the MHP will be short-lived.
One of the opposition parties could also offer the AK Party support without taking part in the government so that it would have a vote of confidence in Parliament.
In the case of outside support by an opposition party for an AK Party government or an AK Party-CHP or AK Party-MHP coalition, a snap election in the fall is quite likely.
If the HDP fails to pass the threshold, the AK Party, which has been in power without interruption since the end of 2002, will most probably be able to form a single-party government.
The HDP is expected, based on recent public surveys, to cross the Rubicon represented by the threshold, as many conservative Kurdish voters who had previously voted for the AK Party are expected to vote for the HDP this time.
The HDP will also probably receive significant support from Turkish voters who favor the inclusive and moderate discourse adopted by the party since the presidential election campaign last year.
The HDP used to be perceived by a great majority of Turks as an ethnicity-based party seeking regional autonomy that could lead to the splitting up of the country.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman