Turkey's political parties discuss electoral alliance

Turkey's political parties discuss electoral alliance

Ruling AK Party, opposition MHP members meet in parliament

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's two major political parties’ representatives on Thursday met to discuss a possible electoral alliance for the next presidential elections.

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) discussed prospects of the electoral alliance in the parliament.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul, the parliament's constitution committee head Mustafa Sentop, AK Party's spokesman Mahir Unal represented their party, while the MHP was represented by Deputy Secretary General Mustafa Kalayci, lawmaker from Afyonkarahisar province Mehmet Parsak, and another parliamentarian from Istanbul province Ismail Faruk Aksu.

On Jan. 8, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli announced that his party would support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the 2019 presidential elections rather than fielding 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.

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