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MRC Analyzes AKP Victory in Turkey's Recent Parliamentary Elections

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TEHRAN, August 20 (ICANA) - The Majlis Research Center (MRC), the think-tank of the Iranian Parliament, has analyzed the recent parliamentary elections in Turkey where the ruling party, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won 326 seats (49.91 percent of the votes).
Saturday, August 20, 2011 10:30:04 PM
MRC Analyzes AKP Victory in Turkey's Recent Parliamentary Elections

The analysis under the title of "Victory of Justice and Development Party (AKP): Roots and Prospects" says the important point about the June polls in Turkey was that despite the open climate for competition and presence of different parties with different political tendencies, the victory of the ruling AKP for a third consecutive time had already been predicted.

What contributed to this strong speculation however was the "positive track record" by AKP both in domestic and international arenas plus its wide popularity inside Turkey, said the analysis.

Although 15 political parties participated in the recent election, the main competition was between the three major parties, the AKP, led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the People’s Republic Party (representing the laics), led by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and the Nationalist Movement Party, led by the Devlet Bahceli. An alliance formed by other independent political groups, mainly composed of Kurdish activists, was also among the main contenders. PRP won 25.9 percent (135 seats) and NMP won 6.6 percent of the votes (36 seats).

This victory means that AKP can continue its efforts to improve the Turkish economy and raise the country’s stature in the international arena and move forward with the process of demilitarizing Turkish politics, the analysis said.

Erdogan has steered Turkey into becoming the world's 16th largest economy with 740 billion dollars. Reducing the inflation rate to 7 percent has been among other achievements of the Turkish government under AKP.

However, Erdogan and his colleagues in the Justice and Development Party (AKP) were not able to win the two-thirds of the seats of the 550-member parliament required to make amendments to the constitution on their own. Therefore, the AKP will require the cooperation of other parties in the parliament to deal with issues such as the Kurdish minority.

A new constitution would be an important and effective step by Ankara to achieve the government's strategic goal of joining the European Union.

Based on the percentage of the vote the various parties received and the increase in the number of seats they have won, many political observers in Turkey believe that the recent election was in fact a general victory for all groups that participated in the election. All groups have gained a proper voice in the parliament and no party has achieved the supermajority required to amend the constitution.

The presence of women candidates on the lists of all parties was quite impressive, resulting in the election of 78 women, who now constitute 14 percent of the legislature. Women held 10 percent of the seats in the previous parliament. The election of six candidates currently incarcerated in prison was another interesting feature of the recent election.

In addition to the unprecedented democratic reform it enacted, Erdogan’s government has completely transformed Turkey’s economic and social landscape, and now, with a GDP of about 800 billion dollars, Turkey is a member of the G-20.

Many believe that the victory of the AKP in three consecutive parliamentary elections is the direct result of Erdogan’s leadership, which is based on his strong business instincts and his charismatic character. And many of his supporters regard Erdogan as the new sultan of modern Turkey.

Right after the election, Erdogan implicitly asked for the help of other parties, and promised that he and his party would modestly consult with all the opposition groups to pave the way for the drafting of a new constitution. It is in fact a new beginning on the path of establishing a real democracy in Turkey.

The result of the June elections in Turkey will provide a clear prospect for the government to continue its dominant trends over the foreign policy including a balanced policy in the international order inclined both to the West and to playing an important part in such regions as the Middle East and the Caucasus. Therefore, it is predictable that Turkey will maintain its position as an important player in these regions as is the case with the Palestinian dilemma and the crisis in Karabakh, concluded the MRC analysis.

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