An MP of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey signaled a tentative pursuit of an alternative election system that would enable his party to cling to power in the next elections.
As voter polls in the last couple of months have been indicating a steady decline in the popular support of AKP, Ibrahim Aydemir, Erzurum representative in the Turkish Parliament, now says the current election system has flaws that have to be addressed.
“While I totally respect the views of our president, the system requiring a vote over 50 percent results in unnatural alliances,” he said in a press conference on Monday in the parliament.
“Look at the Nation Alliance [an alliance of two opposition parties, Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Iyi Party]. They have been undergoing tremendous swings. Under normal circumstances, is there any chance that the Iyi Party might collaborate with the People’s Democratic Party [HDP]? And yet they have. They do this to ensure that their rivals lose. It is based on having others lose; not on winning. It’s apparent that the election system has such a flaw.”
The collaboration Aydemir referred to is the last local elections when two of the largest urban areas in Turkey, Istanbul and the capital Ankara, were won by the Nation Alliance thanks to tactical support by the HDP, after both cities were ruled by AKP for 25 years.
A most recent voter poll by PIAR puts AKP ahead of others, though with a dramatically diminished vote of 30.6 percent, with CHP following with 26.6, Iyi Party with 12.4, HDP with 11.5, and the Nationalist Movement Party with 8.7. As this projects a situation where the total votes of the AKP-MHP alliance (39.3%) would roughly be equal to CHP-Iyi Party alliance (39%), HDP, not involved in any alliance, is expected to emerge as the political party that could determine the result.
Another poll by Metropoll in October 2021 presented a similar situation, with the AKP leading with 32.6 percent, followed by CHP with 25.2, Iyi Party with 14.3, HDP 11.8 and MHP with 7.4, where AKP-MHP alliance and CHP-Iyi Party alliance are head-to-head with respectively 40 percent and 39.5 percent of the popular vote.
President Erdoğan had won in the 2018 elections with 53 percent.