A total of 26 political parties submitted their parliamentary candidate lists to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on Sunday. They faced criticism over their picks – just like in every other election. Obviously, such lists represent the outcome of vigilant plans that take many different factors into consideration. Such as it is perfectly natural in failing to address all expectations at the grassroots level and for some people to be unhappy.
Everyone seems to agree that Türkiye will make a “critically important choice at a historic crossroads” on May 14. That makes us expect an election campaign where each candidate and their parties will speak their truths. Do not be fooled by the ongoing calmness, as electoral alliances have been trying to expand and negotiate candidate lists in the month of Ramadan.
As Türkiye’s political parties put the final touches on their parliamentary candidate lists, presidential contenders are expected to focus on campaign events after the holidays. At the same time, political debates, rhetorical battles and shows have been getting more intense.
The upcoming Turkish elections are not characterized by complete right-left polarization. Right-wing parties and former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members are at the CHP’s table. In truth, anti-Erdoğanism represents the backbone of the opposition campaign, but that is not enough to win. That’s because neo-Kemalist CHP and IP voters do not think that anti-Erdoğanism could justify Kılıçdaroğlu’s engagement with the HDP. Likewise, they are seriously frustrated by the PKK and FETÖ’s thinly veiled endorsement of the prominent opposition leader. In their view, Kılıçdaroğlu and his many vice presidential candidates are not fit to govern Türkiye.
It would seem that HDP has started dominating the opposition bloc with its radical demands as well as marginal discourse.