Turkish PM: Speaker election won’t change composition of CHP, MHP coalition talks

Ahmet DavutogluThe Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) effective support for the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary speaker candidate will not impact the latter’s stance in coalition talks, according to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

“This is the decision of the MHP. We were at the same distance and closeness to the MHP and the CHP [Republican People’s Party] both yesterday and today. There is no change in the picture. It hasn’t been discussed yet, but I have respect for the MHP’s decision because they stood behind their candidate. Observe this in that way,” Davutoğlu told reporters late July 1 when asked whether the results of the speaker election would pave the way for “a natural rapprochement” between the two parties.

“They didn’t vote for us. They didn’t agree to vote for the other candidate either. This is their decision. This is respected but as I said before, coalition negotiations will be made with a different logic,” said Davutoğlu.

His remarks came at a reception held by his party to celebrate the election of outgoing Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz as the new parliamentary speaker.

The results of the legislative vote have been widely interpreted as a sign of the reduced prospects of a grand coalition between the assembly’s two biggest parties, the AKP and CHP.

Had a consensus candidate been elected speaker, it could have pointed to a coalition between the AKP, which finished first in a June 7 ballot but was deprived a majority, and the CHP. But the voting pattern pointed more in the direction of a coalition between the AKP and MHP.

“When I feel that I have completed my duty, I will go to our president,” Davutoğlu said when asked whether efforts to form a coalition would start after a regular meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ), which will be held in the first week of August.

The Supreme Military Council meeting and other events do not impact the schedule for the formation of a government, he said. “Our primary aim is to contemplate this in its own nature; nothing else stares us in the face.”