Turkish opposition party leader accuses gov’t of planning to rig next elections

Duvar English

The leader of a Turkish opposition party has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of planning to rig the next elections.

Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu has refrained from saying how, but said that “such moves take place in the areas that are more suitable for intervention, such as in the east and southeast.”

“The people resist to some extent in the east and southeast. You can’t easily do that intervention in Ankara or Istanbul,” Karamollaoğlu told Sözcü TV, as he commented on the death of two Felicity Party members during March 31, 2019 local elections in the eastern province of Malatya.

“I’m saying that they will rig the elections. Understand it as you please. They’ll intervene in the number of votes, because they did so in the past. They killed people near ballot boxes,” he added.

When asked to comment on the months-long rumors on early elections, Karamollaoğlu said that he doesn’t expect snap polls.

Soylu’s resignation was not genuine: Babacan

Separately, Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan has said that he doesn’t believe that Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s resignation was genuine, as he cited his own resignation as an example of a “real one.”

Babacan was referring to Soylu’s resignation announcement on April 12, which came after criticism of his decision to announce a two-day curfew against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic just two hours before it began.

He announced the two-day curfew at around 10 p.m. on April 10, prompting thousands to go out on the streets to purchase food despite calls to stay home to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus.

The scenes of overcrowded bakeries and supermarkets were widely shared on social media, with many slamming the AKP for paving the way for such an incident that completely disregarded social distancing.

Soylu’s resignation was not accepted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Babacan said that Soylu’s resignation was an attempt to distract the public from the incident.

“Such resignations are formed in short-term with high popularity. A good evaporation operation was made on who is to blame following the crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people poured to the streets and who knows how many people were infected. He resigned in a rapid move that wasn’t talked on beforehand. That’s not what a resignation is,” Babacan told Karar TV.

“What happened that day and the chaos were evaporated with a resignation operation. The responsibility fell on no one,” he added.

Babacan is a founding member of the AKP, which has been ruling Turkey since 2002, served as economy and then foreign minister before becoming deputy prime minister, a role he held from 2009 to 2015. He was well regarded by foreign investors during his time in charge of the economy.

Babacan filed the application to launch DEVA on March 9, eight months after he resigned from the AKP over “deep differences.”

Babacan to Bahçeli: What good do you have for the country?

The DEVA leader also commented on Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli’s accusations on the new parties being followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, saying that he should first talk about what good he has for the country.

“Bahçeli should talk about what he was doing when 20 banks went bankrupt in the past. He should talk about what he did when Turkey was getting poorer. What good does he have for the country? I’m curious about this. Otherwise it’s easy to hurl slanders at people,” Babacan said.

He also criticized the economy management in Turkey, but said that all can be fixed if reasonable decisions are adopted.

“The IMF is also a resource, but due to the anti-Western discourse, it’s not appropriate in terms of politics to seek support from it,” he added.

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About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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