Nationalist MHP becomes second winner of election

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had reason to celebrate following Sundayand’s parliamentary election, having increased its votes by around 2 million, second only to the Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP), according to unofficial data.
The unofficial results, released by the Cihan news agency, revealed that the MHP received 16.5 percent of the vote, or 7,394,179 votes. Compared to the results of the 2011 general election, in which the MHP garnered the support of 5,576,116 voters, corresponding to 12.98 percent of the vote, the nationalist party increased its votes significantly.
The MHPand’s substantial increase in votes is also reflected in the number of deputies it can now send to Parliament. The MHP sent 53 deputies to Parliament in 2011, but the party will be represented by 82 deputies according to this electionand’s unofficial results. With this increase in the number of deputies entering Parliament, it is clear that the MHP is only second to the HDP in profiting from the election.
The 10 percent election threshold had previously been an obstacle for the HDP, which had in the past only been represented in Parliament by independent deputies. However, the threshold could not keep it down this time around, as it received the support of 5,826,852 voters.
Addressing the election results Sunday evening, MHP leader Devlet Bahandceli emphasized his partyand’s success despite the unfair election campaign period. He said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) used an exorbitant amount of state resources during its election campaign, maintaining that the AK Party unfairly benefited from state channels, governorand’s offices, municipalities and extra Treasury funds.
Despite such campaigning, which Bahandceli saw as difficult to counter, the MHP significantly increased the number of its supporters. The reason behind the MHPand’s success is seen as the peopleand’s reaction towards the ruling AK Party and its founder, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who currently serves as president.
Analysts invited to speak by various TV stations the night of the election touched upon the MHPand’s electoral success. Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli, in an interview on Samanyolu Haber, said the growing anti-democratic attitude of the government along with attempts to establish a more authoritarian regime by replacing the parliamentary system with a presidential one were among the main reasons behind the dislike of the AK Party.
The arrest of journalists and hate speech directed at those who criticize the government were the most obvious anti-democratic acts of oppression by the AK Party, by most accounts. Similarly, the ruling partyand’s attempts to control the judiciary were another move by the AK Party to undermine Turkish democracy.
The dislike of the AK Partyand’s increasingly anti-democratic attitude pushed voters who had previously voted for the AK Party in the 2011 general election and the 2014 local elections to lean toward other options among right-wing parties.
Some believe if the MHP had joined the National Alliance, a coalition between the Felicity Party (SP) and the Grand Union Party (BBP), both of which are right-wing parties, the result could have been a lot more beneficial for all three, but mainly for the MHP. Though the National Alliance received just under 1 million votes, commentators believe an alliance between the three right-wing parties would lead to many more people abandoning the AK Party in support of this alliance.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman