BuLENT – Who lost the election?

Who lost the election?The presidential elections of Aug. 10 will be remembered for its losers as well as its winners.

The two largest opposition parties in Parliament should be written at the top of the list of losers. While their courage in nominating a joint candidate should be appreciated, their performances during the campaign period placed the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the losers category.

They failed to convince 19.4 million voters who supported them in the March 30 elections to support Ekmeleddin IhsanoIlu at the ballot boxes.

More precisely, they haven’t worked hard enough. Given the fact that many smaller parties voiced support for IhsanoIlu, it is clear that the number of CHP and MHP voters who deserted their parties in this election is far greater We can say that the number of voters who deserted this camp is about 4 million.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) secured the support of 43 percent of the 20.5 million citizens who voted in the March 30 elections, and it managed to obtain 51.

5 percent out of roughly the same number of voters on Aug. 10.

If the turnout and electoral preferences of the local elections had been repeated, the AK Party candidate would have had to secure 25 million more votes to pass the 50-percent threshold.The organizations who deal with election processes as third parties can be added to the list of losers as well.

Such organizations include the polling companies. Many of them announced overblown polling numbers that went as high as 57 or 58 percent for Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, thereby undermining their prestige and credibility.

For instance, KONDA Research and Consultancy is accused of causing a lower turnout rate by predicting ErdoIan would win with 57 percent. Because of this, IhsanoIlu criticized these polling companies for creating the perception that the ErdoIan’s success in the election was inevitable.

Likewise, the state-owned Anadolu News Agency (AA) was accused of trying to manipulate the results in its live coverage of the election. It was a repeat of its performance during the previous election.

The AA initially reported very high numbers for ErdoIan. Hours later, it had to lower this percentage to saner figures that were close to what was reported by the privately-owned Cihan News Agency.

Cihan has been reporting election results for the last 12 years, and this incident proved once again the need for and importance of independent news agencies.Surprises from IhsanoIlu and DemirtaIWe need to acknowledge that there are several winners in this election.

The first winner is the AK Party candidate ErdoIan, and I will discuss his success at length below. Other candidates, too, can be considered winners to a certain degree.

The parties who nominated IhsanoIlu failed to provide sufficient campaign support for him Considering his disaantage of having worked abroad for many years, however, IhsanoIlu managed to secure 39 percent of the vote, which is not a bad result. His gentlemanly style certainly made a positive contribution to the presidential race.

While he does not have the qualities of an assertive leader, IhsanoIlu may find a place for himself in new political movements. Selahattin DemirtaI, nominated by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), is also a winner He managed to raise considerable electoral support for his party both in terms of percentage as well as number of votes, securing the support of more than 1 million new voters.

His conciliatory rhetoric and political acumen helped him make a difference. His performance effectively exhibited the shortcomings of his party in addressing the entire country.

Dispelling the perception that he is a politician who cannot act independently, he managed to show that he has his own specific influence.ErdoIan’s lossesIt is hard to say that ErdoIan got what he was after in this election.

He hardly pushed his electoral support above what he secured in the March 30 elections. He was planning to boost his electoral backing with the addition of some 3 million voters abroad, but this didn’t happen.

In the 2010 referendum, he secured the electoral support of 22 million of the 49 million voters. But, in the current election, he was only able to appeal to 20.

5 million of the 55 million voters. Moreover, he suffered a psychological blow due to exaggerated expectations pumped by the media outlets and polling stations he controls.

Although his supporters were expecting more than 60 percent, they have to settle for 51.5 percent.

He used all the public resources he could even though this was not ethical or moral. The state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) gave full support to ErdoIan’s election campaign, barely providing any coverage of the campaigns of the other candidates.

The media outlets he created or controlled using public resources conducted extensive lobbying campaigns. In the final analysis, the election outcome does not afford him license to redesign his party or the country’s regime.

If he had secured 55 percent or more of the general vote, he could try to proceed with a snap parliamentary election and redesign the party and the country completely. But the results make it clear that he cannot discard Abdullah Gul.

He needs a strong AK Party so that he can perform his presidential duties without issue. With a proxy prime minister, this cannot be done.

It is unfortunate for our democracy that, during his election campaigns, he declared that he wouldn’t comply with the boundaries set forth for the president in the Constitution. Furthermore, he said that he would continue to use his prime ministerial and party leadership powers and authorities until August 28.

Those who invented the so-called “367” constitutional crisis effectively violated certain precedents. Today, ErdoIan is following in their footsteps.

He is searching for loopholes in the Constitution that not even Kenan Evren would be inclined to look for Previously, AK Party supporters had rejected the argument that after becoming president ErdoIan would lose his immunity and be vulnerable to legal actions until his official swearing-in. Those who argued, “He is the president at the moment he is elected,” are now saying, “He is not the president until he swears in as president.

” They should make up their mind.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman