Reshuf­fling political cards


The growth of the MHP at the ap­par­ent ex­pense of the AKP, while dis­man­tling its diehard na­tion­al­ist plat­form on the one hand and the AKP grad­u­ally adopt­ing a con­sol­i­dated na­tion­al­ist ap­proach to is­sues such as the Kur­dish prob­lem, Syria and the East­ern Mediter­ranean, might be con­sid­ered, among many other rea­sons, among the fun­da­men­tal be­hind the new for­ma­tions shap­ing up around the for­mer Pres­i­dent Ab­dul­lah Gul-Ali Baba­can team as well as for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu. Most prom­i­nent mem­bers were forced to quit the gov­ern­ing party. Spec­u­la­tions that Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan might call an early elec­tion – which also means an early pres­i­den­tial vote un­der the lat­est con­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments – some­time in the fall of next year is an added source of ex­cite­ment for those in ef­forts to set up a political party. The com­bined vote of the AKP and the MHP does not meet the three­fifths qual­i­fied vote re­quired for par­lia­ment to call an elec­tion. Could Er­do­gan call for elec­tion and ter­mi­nate his pres­i­dency? He, of course, might find a formula to by­pass that con­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ment but at least there will be some se­ri­ous con­tro­versy and ten­sion. What might hap­pen if there is a surge in ter­ror­ism, as it hap­pened in be­tween the June and Novem­ber elec­tions in 2015? Would the op­po­si­tion join calls for an early elec­tion? On the other hand, the suc­cess of two new par­ties on the same elec­toral base as the AKP might re­sult in tak­ing a few pre­cious per­cent­age points from the rul­ing block, land­ing it be­low 50 per­cent and los­ing ev­ery­thing. In this rather shaky political ground, of course what might come next and how cards will be reshuf­fled de­pends largely on the suc­cess of both the Baba­can-Gul and Davu­to­glu teams as well as the eco­nomic per­for­mance of the coun­try. With empty pock­ets, the elec­torate might tend to take rev­o­lu­tion­ary de­ci­sions.

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