Turkish Election Commission Proposes November Vote

Opposition Calls for Martial Law Against Kurdish Regions

With the June 7 election deadlocked and no majority government possible, Turkey’s election commission has proposed November 1 for its next vote. This is sooner than many expected, though it won’t be finalized until they receive “input” from the various political parties involved.

The deadline for forming a government is August 23, and after that the current ruling party, the AKP, will either have to get approval for an election date or President Erdogan will have to form an “election government” with opposition parties to make the arrangements. PM Ahmet Davutoglu says he is keen to avoid the election government scenario, as this would mean the pro-minority HDP would be in the temporary government, at the same time as the AKP is carrying out a war against the Kurdish region from which most of their electoral support is coming.

Both the second-place CHP and the third-place MHP have ruled out participating in an election government, and the MHP is also demanding that the AKP declare martial law against ethnic Kurdish regions of the country, saying the country might be in full civil war by the election without moves against them.

The AKP tried to form coalition governments with both the CHP and MHP, though neither was willing. The MHP had apparently offered to join under several conditions, including starting a new war against the PKK, which the AKP actually did, but they also wanted to strip Kurds and other minorities of their citizenship, and demanded the AKP tackle corruption. It is generally believed the corruption call was the biggest problem for them.

The PKK war is looming large in the next election, though initial predictions that it would damage support for the HDP have not so far panned out, and rather the pro-Kurdish leftist party is said to be polling slightly higher than they did in June. The risk of another vote without a winner is looming large, and sending investors out of the Turkish lira, which has fallen some 8% in recent days.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.