Will the Alliance Between the CHP and Iyi Party Work?

Even though the parties have finalized their agreement, some circles in the CHP and Iyi Party are not satisfied with the final agreement.

Will the Alliance Between the CHP and Iyi Party Work
Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu (R) and Leader of the IYI Party Meral Aksener (L) hold a joint press conference after their meeting at IYI Party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey on January 25, 2019. Anadolu Agency

After long-lasting discussions and crises, the CHP and Iyi Party have finalized the deal of alliance for the upcoming local elections in March. As is known very well by the public, both parties have suffered from conflicting interests and positions during their negotiation process. They were even about to end the ongoing negotiations and stop their quest for an alliance. The main reason behind the clash was due to the ambitions both sides had to maximize their interests and minimize their costs. Nonetheless, although the negotiation process has ended for both sides, it is still not easy to create a consensus on all problematic issues.

The CHP and Iyi Party began to negotiate on building an alliance last December. Even though none of these parties were welcoming the idea of building an alliance for the local elections, the failure of the People’s Alliance in forming an alliance triggered both parties to expand their power by joining together. During the first phase of negotiations, parties did not give an inch and tried to maximize their interests by “slicing the pie” as they intended. At that point, both parties failed to cooperate, especially on provinces such as Ankara and Adana. More, some prominent officials in both parties made harsh criticisms towards negotiation rules and methods. While intra-party opposition towards the ongoing negotiations was on the rise, the leaders of both parties failed to decrease tensions. In other words, negotiations were on the edge of collapse.

Nevertheless, due to the fact that the AK Party and MHP decided to build an alliance contrary to their previous decision, the game in Turkish politics changed again. The AK Party and MHP saw the mobilization of the opposition block as a danger for consolidating the presidential system and Turkey’s fight against terrorism. As a result, they agreed on forming an alliance for the upcoming local elections. As a reaction to this decision, the CHP and Iyi Party also accelerated negotiations despite all objections within party circles.

Although the negotiations between the CHP and Iyi Party for the upcoming local elections has ended, it is still not easy to create a consensus on all problematic issues.

During the second phase of negotiations, parties had a more rational approach towards their positions in the existing political system. Both parties were aware of the fact that they had to make concessions to build an alliance. After long-lasting negotiations, the Iyi Party was convinced to accept CHP’s demand for Ankara. The parties also maintained their negotiations on other provinces and countries.

According to the latest announcement from the opposition block on Friday, the parties have finalized their negotiation process and made a consensus on the final agreement including the details of the alliance. The leaders of both the CHP and Iyi Party conducted a press conference and announced the details of their alliance to the public. According to the official statement, the Iyi Party will support the CHP’s candidates in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir. Moreover, the CHP will not present any candidates in 21 provinces, including Manisa, Balikesir, Denizli, Samsun, Trabzon, and Kayseri. The Iyi Party on the other hand, will support the candidates of CHP in 28 provinces, including Aydin, Mugla, Tekirdag, Adana, Eskisehir, Antalya, and Bursa.

Even though the parties have finalized their agreement, some circles in the CHP and Iyi Party are not satisfied with the final agreement. There have been some resignations in the Iyi Party and some branches of both parties have protested the final agreement.

Even though the parties have finalized their agreement, some circles in the CHP and Iyi Party are not satisfied with the final agreement. There have been some resignations in the Iyi Party and some branches of both parties have protested the final agreement. These problems illustrate that both parties will need to focus on convincing party circles and voters in the following days in order to prevent further crises.

Hazal Duran
Hazal Duran conducted her B.A in the fields of Turkish Language and Literature and International Relations at the TOBB University of Economics and Technology in 2012. She completed her M.A in Modern Turkish Studies at Istanbul Sehir University. While continuing her doctoral studies at Bilkent University, she is currently serving as a Researcher at the SETA Ankara Directorate of Political Studies.