AKP loses majority
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in 13 years following yesterday’s general election. The AKP took 40.80% of the vote to give them 258 seats, 18 seats short of the 276 seats needed for a simple majority in the 550 seat Grand National Assembly. The AKP dropped 53 seats on their 2011 result but remain the largest party in parliament.
Three other parties won representation yesterday. The Kemalist and centre-left main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) increased their vote to 25.23% to give them 132 seats, an extra seven seats in 2011.
The Turkish Nationalist and right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) came third with 16.54% of the vote and 81 seats, up 29 seats on 2011.
The fourth party to enter parliament is the left-wing Kurdish leaning Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The party took a gamble by bringing together Kurd candidates together to stand as a national party in the hope that they could cross the 10% threshold for representation. They succeeded and took 12.50% of the vote and 79 seats. In the 2011 parliament 29 members had stood as independents which today means that the HDP effectively won an additional 50 seats in the general election.
The emergence of the HDP was the one single factor to rob the AKP of their majority and to put an end to the ambitions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP changing the constitution to introduce an Executive Presidency.
The result of the election will require a coalition government to be formed. The CHP, MHP and HDP have all rejected the idea of a coalition with the AKP. However, the right-wing MHP has worked with the AKP in the past and is the most likely candidate for a coalition with the AKP. Although the HDP have categorically ruled out any coalition with the AKP it is possible that they would consider a deal if it assured more rights for the Kurdish people. The least likely coalition partner for the AKP is the main opposition CHP.
The results given are provisional and based upon 98.50% of the vote being counted according to the Supreme Election Commission. Final results are expected within 10 – 12 days.