By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish justice minister on Wednesday said the national consensus committee of the country’s two political parties has finalized work to form an electoral alliance ahead of 2019 presidential elections.
"We have completed our debates on national consensus," Abdulahamit Gul told journalists in the parliament.
On Jan. 18, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) held their first meeting to discuss a possible electoral alliance.
The aim of the national consensus committee is to form the infrastructure of Turkey's new presidential system.
Gul said the representatives of the committee will appraise the leaders of their respective parties about the developments. "After that, we are waiting for the leaders to come together."
"Our works will strengthen the national consensus," he added.
On Jan. 8, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli announced that his party would support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the 2019 presidential elections rather than field a presidential candidate of its own.
Ahead of the constitutional referendum last April, the two parties campaigned for approval of the sweeping package of changes.
In the referendum, Turkish voters had approved a package of constitutional changes handing wide-ranging executive powers to the president and eliminating the post of prime minister and also allowing the president to retain ties to a political party.
The MHP has also worked with the AK Party on foreign policy issues, particularly since the July 2016 defeated coup orchestrated by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Next year's presidential elections will be Turkey's first under the new presidential system of government.