Istanbul, July 22 () - In a move widely considered as a sign of preparation for a possible early election, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has kicked off a round of consultations with his party’s provincial branches.
Bahçeli’s first stop was the central Anatolian provinces of Kırıkkale and Kırşehir, where he held closed-door meetings late on July 22.
Having been given the mandate to form a government on July 9, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) which lost its parliamentary majority in the June 7 election, already held a first round of coalition talks with the leaders of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as well as with the MHP leader last week. No exact date has yet been set for the second round of talks, as a 45-day deadline for the formation of the government expires on Aug. 24.
Bahçeli’s move to visit the provincial branches of his party in order to “review Turkey’s political situation and explain the MHP’s view” at “expanded provincial consultation meetings” comes days after he implied with confidence his party would increase its votes in a possible early election.
“I suppose that in an early election our nation will say, ‘There is a need for the MHP, but not these [other parties] and we want to bring the MHP to power’” Bahçeli said on July 18 in response to questions from reporters.
Following meetings in Kırıkkale and Kırşehir, Bahçeli was expected to travel to Aksaray and Niğde on July 23 for similar meetings, with further closed-door meetings planned to be held in other provinces too.