Turkey’s main opposition parties are expected to announce a broad electoral alliance before general elections in June, a step that could pose a significant challenge to the dominance of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party. The deal, which will include the country’s largest secular and nationalist opposition blocs, is likely to dilute the Justice and Development party’s (AKP) control of the legislature and overcome the regulation that any party must receive 10% of the national vote to win a seat in parliament, a rule that has reinforced Erdoğan’s long-running majority. The coalition is expected to be formally announced on Thursday and will include the Republican People’s party (CHP), the İyi (Good) party, the Islamist Saadet party (SP) and the Democrat party (DP). The secularist CHP is the largest opposition grouping in parliament, and the newly formed İyi is composed primarily of nationalists. The İyi leader, Meral Akşener, has declared herself a presidential candidate.
They will run against the ruling AKP and the Nationalist Action party (MHP), which formed a coalition this year to contest the polls.
Erdoğan has called snap presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June, a year and a half ahead of schedule. Whoever is elected president will assume sweeping powers that were narrowly passed in a referendum last year.
Erdoğan is the clear favourite to win the presidential race, but a larger opposition bloc in parliament would pose a significant challenge.