Bill proposing alliance to be submitted to parliament

Turkey's ruling party and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are ready to form an electoral alliance for the next presidential elections.

A 26 article bill proposing amendments to the electoral system approved by both parties will be submitted to the Turkish parliament on Wednesday, Mustafa Sentop, who is heading a parliamentary commission on constitutional change, told Anadolu Agency.

Sentop said all issues on the making of the alliance were clarified by mutual agreement.

On Sunday, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the opposition MHP discussed prospects of the electoral alliance in the parliament.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul, Parliament's Constitution Committee head Mustafa Sentop, and AK Party's spokesman Mahir Unal represented the government, while the MHP was represented by Deputy Secretary General Mustafa Kalayci, a lawmaker from Afyonkarahisar city Mehmet Parsak, and another parliamentarian from Istanbul Ismail Faruk Aksu.

Sentop added, "national consensus commission" on the alliance formed by both parties had fulfilled its task to suggest amendments to current election law.

On the content of changes, he went on to say, the objective of the bill was to ensure the election safety and to reflect the voters' will on the ballot box.

There are some amendments in the proposal regarding electoral alliance as well, he said.

He added the commission lifted the provisions in laws banning the alliance and put some major changes on how to work if any alliance was formed between political parties.

On Jan. 8, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli announced that his party would support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the 2019 presidential elections rather than fielding a presidential candidate of its own.

Ahead of the constitutional referendum last April, the two parties campaigned for approval of the sweeping package of changes.

In the referendum, Turkish voters approved a package of constitutional changes handing wide ranging executive powers to the president and eliminating the post of prime minister and also allowing the president to retain ties to a political party.

The MHP has also worked with the AK Party on foreign policy issues, particularly since the July 2016 defeated coup orchestrated by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

Next year's presidential elections will be Turkey's first under the new presidential system of government.

Source: Anadolu Agency