With just days to go to Turkey’s snap general election on Nov. 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has again voiced his clear preference for having a “single-party government” elected to rule the country.
“We will all together respect the result that emerges from the ballot boxes. But when we look at societies in the world where stability and confidence exist, we don’t tend to see coalition governments; rather, we see single-party governments, whether it is one party or another,” Erdoğan said late on Oct. 29, speaking to reporters at a reception marking Republic Day on the 92nd anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.
“If our nation makes its choice for a single-party government, then I believe it would lay the ground for the resumption of the environment of stability and confidence that we experienced for 12 to 13 years,” he added, in a reference to the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rule since 2002 as he is the founding leader of the party.
When asked whether he would feel “offended” if the results of the election necessitate the formation of a coalition government, he replied “No, there is no place for disappointment and resentment in politics.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has acknowledged that Turkey “would not tolerate a re-run” after Nov. 1, if the results do not produce a single-party government.
“There is no such thing on our agenda. I don’t believe that Turkey would tolerate this either,” Davutoğlu said in an interview with private broadcaster NTV also late on Oct. 29.
In the run-up to the previous June 7 parliamentary election, Erdoğan held a series of large public rallies in which he made little secret of his preference for single-party rule by the AKP, despite constitutional clauses that require the president to be impartial. Opponents have argued he wanted another election to enable the AKP to win a large enough majority to change the constitution and grant him sweeping powers as an executive president.
In the June 7 parliamentary election, the AKP dropped to fewer than 276 seats in parliament, the number needed for a legislative majority. It had aimed for the 330 seats it needed in order to change the constitution without input from other parties and thus pave the way for a new presidential system equipped with more power and fewer checks and balances.
After talks to form a coalition proved fruitless, AKP head Davutoğlu formed an interim cabinet ahead of the November re-run.