Main opposition left-wing party, CHP, is in an electoral alliance with three right-wing and conservative parties to run in the June 24 elections. The idea of forming alliances is to give small parties a chance of having seats in the parliaments.

IYI Party's Aksener held talks with CHP's Kilicdaroglu in order to form an electoral alliance.
IYI Party's Aksener held talks with CHP's Kilicdaroglu in order to form an electoral alliance. (AA)

Parliamentary and presidential elections in Turkey will be held on June 24, with political parties forming alliances, so that small parties will not be left out of the parliament. An electoral ruling stipulates that parties need to secure at least 10 percent of the vote, in order to get seats in the parliament.

The elections will be held for the first time since the April 2017 referendum which brought changes to the governance system. 

According to the new system, the post of prime minister has been abolished and the president won't necessarily be impartial anymore. The president can now lead a political party under the new system.

Under this new system, some opposition parties have united, in order to try to gain more seats in parliament, to decrease the amount of power the president would have.

Who are the opposition parties in the Nation's Alliance?

There are four parties in the alliance; CHP, Iyi Party, Saadet Party and Democrat Party.

The left-wing and secularist CHP (Republican People's Party), the main opposition party in the parliament since the early 2000s, has declared that it is setting up an alliance with two right-wing parties and a conservative one on May 2.

The SP (Felicity Party) is a small conservative party whose predecessor was the Welfare Party, a party that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used to be a member of.

When Welfare Party was banned after a coup in the late 1990s by the army, under the guise of protecting "secularism in Turkey," it split into two. One group was led by Erdogan, who eventually became the first popularly elected president of Turkey. His party, AK Party, has been governing the country since 2002.

SP, on the other hand, got around 0.7 percent of the vote in the November 2015 elections, and couldn't get any seats in the parliament.

The head of the SP, Temel Karamollaoglu, is now running in the upcoming presidential elections.

The nationalist IYI Party (Good Party), was founded by former members of the MHP, another right-wing nationalist opposition party. Its members fell out with MHP leader Devlet Bahceli after he started co-operating with the AK Party.

AK Party and MHP started working together following the June 7 elections in 2015, where the HDP secured enough votes for parliamentary seats for the first time in its history. The formation of a coalition was necessary for the running of the country, and the HDP was on the table. Both the AK Party and the MHP refused to enter into a coalition with the HDP. MHP leader Devlet Bahceli was the first leader to call for a re-election.

Turkey's peace process with the PKK, which the Turkish government calls the "Resolution Process" and which was announced by Erdogan himself in early 2013, collapsed after the elections, when the PKK relaunched its armed campaign against Turkish security forces in July 2015.

These incidents led the MHP to align itself with the AK Party. In the November re-election of that year, the AK Party gained enough seats to form a government.

After a failed coup attempt in July 2016 conducted by the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), the MHP provided the most support for the AK Party in its fight against FETO. That led the MHP to ally itself with the AK Party in the 2017 referendum, in which Turkish voters approved a package of constitutional changes, handing more executive powers and giving more responsibilities to the president. 

IYI Party has recently been founded and had only five MPs, until 15 CHP deputies joined them, in order to secure its attendance to the elections.

According to Turkish law, a political party is eligible to run in the elections only if it has at least 20 seats in parliament, or if it has completed the establishment of its offices in at least half of the cities – there are 81 cities in Turkey – in the country and has held its general congress six months before the elections. 

IYI Party leader, Meral Aksener, says her party is eligible to run in the elections, as it held its congress on December 10, 2017.

Before Turkey’s Supreme Election Council could rule on whether the party had completed the setting up of its offices in 41 cities, 15 CHP MPs joined the IYI Party.

IYI Party's leader, Aksener, is running as an independent presidential candidate.

The Democrat Party, another right-wing party, had around 0.15 percent of the votes in the last elections in 2015. The party has no seats in the parliament and has close ties with IYI Party. DP supports Aksener for the presidency.

In this November 3, 2016 file photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) meets Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party's leader (MHP) Devlet Bahceli (L) at the ​Presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey.
In this November 3, 2016 file photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) meets Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party's leader (MHP) Devlet Bahceli (L) at the ​Presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey. (AA)

Electoral alliance

Under the new electoral law that was passed in March, alliances will now be recognised by the law, with the name of the alliances appearing on the ballot box.

As before, political parties still need to secure at least 10 percent of the vote in elections to secure seats in parliament. However the same rule applies to alliances, so that the political parties who don't get enough votes could still secure seats when they form alliances.

AK Party, MHP and BBP alliance: People's Alliance

AK Party and MHP, the two political parties which have been co-operating since late 2015, have also formed an alliance, which they have called a "people's alliance."

After a group of deputies left MHP to form IYI Party in 2016, the MHP leader Bahceli complained about the rule, before entering into an alliance with the governing AK Party.

“The MHP is not worried about the 10 percent threshold. But the possibility of staying below the threshold puts pressure on society. There are people who think this is better [for Turkey]. But 10 percent is too high for Turkey,” Bahceli told a group of reporters on November 7, 2017.

Eventually, the talks about threshold issues stopped and a new law paving the way for the formation of electoral alliances was passed in the parliament, with the support of AK Party and MHP.  

BBP, another right-wing opposition party, has also joined the People's Alliance on May 3. BBP had around 0.5 percent of the votes in 2015 parliamentary elections.

The governing AK Party has 316, the CHP has 116, the MHP has 36 and the Good Party has 20 seats in the parliament.

The HDP, on the other hand, used to have 59 deputies but now it’s 48. Some of those 48 deputies of the HDP, including two former co-chairs, were detained over accusations of having links to the PKK. 

Source: AA