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Babacan’s party can get 18 percent of votes in election: opinion poll

About 18 percent of voters would in all likelihood support the new party expected to be formed by Turkey’s former economy minister, Ali Babacan. This is according to a recent opinion poll, according to a news report by T24 on Tuesday. The poll was conducted based on a possible election.

The results of the poll conducted by Besir Atalay, a former deputy prime minister and interior minister of Turkey, was on Monday announced by former main opposition MP and journalist Baris Yarkadas during a TV program.

Atalay will reportedly be one of the founding members of Babacan’s new party, along with ex-ministers Sadullah Ergin, Nihat Ergun, Mehmet Simsek, Ertugrul Gunay and former Chief Justice of Turkey’s Constitutional Court Hasim Kilic and Turkey’s former president Abdullah Gul, reportedly the director of the group.

During a program on Tele 1 channel on Monday, Yarkadas said the rival party is expected to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party (AKP).

Yarkadas further said the polls show that 30 percent of AKP voters think its time for a new party to be established with the ideology of the early years of the ruling party.

The poll also revealed 30 percent of Turkish citizens search for other parties than AKP to vote, but rather choose not to cast their votes for the current opposition parties as they argue a new party is necessary for Turkey.

Yarkadas also stated Babacan and other founding members of the new formation postponed the date to announce the party after the March 31 as they did not want
to the ones responsible for the AKP’s losses in the March elections.

They allegedly foresaw that AKP would lose the race in key cities in the local polls and thought it would draw their targeted fraction of Turkey’s conservatives away if they were the ones who the ruling party lost to.

The AKP lost a number of major cities, including Turkey’s capital Ankara and largest city and business center Istanbul to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the recent local elections.

The founding members had to delay the announcement again after finding out the of Istanbul’s mayoral election was annulled and a re-run was to take place on June 23, following AKP’s repeated appeals to Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK).

Babacan and his team rescheduled the announcement of the new party to September after seeing in surveys and polls that CHP’s candidate Ekrem Imamoglu will win the mayoral rerun in Istanbul with a greater margin than he did in the initial polls.

Imamoglu garnered more than 54 percent of the votes against the ruling AKP’s Binali Yildirim, who is Turkey’s former prime minister, on June 23 rerun and handed Erdogan the biggest defeat of his political career.

“Ali Babacan’s statement today signals his party will lay emphasis on economy, law, justice, and freedoms. It will be a formation that appeals to different sections of the society,” Yarkadas elaborated.

He added Babacan reached out to a prominent leftist Turkish artist to join his group as a founding member of the party so as to be able to represent people from different fractions of society.

According to Yarkadas, the new party will offer either a presidential system with an influential parliament providing checks and balances or a democratic parliamentary system based on the opinion surveys they will conduct about Turkish people’s preferred system of governance.

“If the polls reveal the demand for a parliamentary system, Babacan will be a candidate for prime minister’s office as the leader of his party, while Abdullah Gul will appear as a candidate for the presidency,” Yarkadas explained.

In a referendum in 2017, Turkish people had narrowly voted in favor of changing the country’s governance system from a parliamentary one to a presidential one, giving the president sweeping powers.

The journalist also made the claim Babacan and his team anticipate 34 AKP lawmakers to resign and join their party after it’s September launch.

Former key Erdogan ally quits Turkey’s ruling party 

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