How big will the protest vote be?
Why the ruling AK party may not do as well on June7th as in the past
THE Justice and Development (AK) party has won three general elections in a row, mostrecently in 2011. Yet although it seems certain to win over 40% of the vote and remain thelargest party after the election on June 7th, it is losing ground. Many things that helped AK arebeing reversed. The economy, its strongest suit, has run out of steam. Recep Tayyip Erdogan,AK's charismatic former prime minister, who became Turkey's first directly elected president inAugust, has become increasingly despotic and out of touch. And some opposition parties nowlook more appealing.
The main centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP) has changed tack. Its leader, KemalKilicdaroglu, has ditched his shrilly anti-Erdogan rhetoric of old and is hitting AK hard on theeconomy. His pledges to double the minimum wage and to improve the lot of some 11mpensioners may sound populist, yet they have resonance. Two-thirds of CHP candidates wereelected in primaries. And Mr Kilicdaroglu has managed to bring in female candidates such asSelina Dogan, an ethnic Armenian lawyer, and Selin Sayek Boke, a respected Arab Christianeconomist. Ultra-secular dinosaurs have gone.
Alas, the newly colourful CHP is still not expected to add much to the 26% it got in 2011. Butthat is partly because some supporters are defecting to another opposition party, the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP). The HDP is a challenge to Mr Erdogan because hisdream of an executive presidency depends on its share of the vote. Previously the Kurdsfielded independent candidates to get around the minimum 10% threshold for seats in theparliament. But the HDP is now running nationally. Should it get over 10% of the vote, it willpick up 50-60 seats, leaving AK well short of the minimum 330 deputies required to proposeconstitutional changes, including an executive presidency.
Some pollsters think AK might even fall short of the 276 seats it needs for a simple majority. Itwould then have to form a coalition with the third main opposition party, the far-rightNationalist Action Party (MHP), since both the CHP and the HDP say they will not go intogovernment with AK. If, however, the HDP does not clear the 10% hurdle, AK will inherit all itsseats, clearing the way not just for a renewed single-party government but perhaps for MrErdogan's executive presidency.
The HDP owes its rising fortunes in part to its co-chair, Selahattin Demirtas. With his youthfullooks and biting wit, the former human-rights lawyer from Diyarbakir makes Mr Erdogan seem ahas-been. All over Turkey, bejewelled dowagers, hipsters and factory workers say they mayvote HDP either because they “like Demirtas” or because “it's the only way to stop Erdogan.”This is a sea change. The HDP was long seen as the political arm of the Kurdistan Workers'Party (PKK), the rebels fighting for Kurdish self-rule since 1984. Few doubt that the PKK and itsimprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan, still hold much sway. But a ceasefire that has held sinceMarch 2013 has legitimised the HDP. Winning more seats in parliament would propel the Kurdsfurther into the mainstream and loosen the rebels' grip. Being shut out would have theopposite effect.
Although it was Mr Erdogan who initiated peace with the Kurds, he has hit the campaign trail,Koran in hand, ranting about Mr Demirtas's supposed “terrorist connections” and lack of faith.The HDP has to lure pro-AK Kurds into switching sides if it is to squeak past the threshold. “Kurds in the big western cities like Istanbul and Izmir hold the key,” concludes Behlul Ozkan, apolitical scientist. The HDP's victory is “by no means guaranteed”
1.as well 也;同样;又;还
例句:There may be travel expense,as well.
2.such as 例如;诸如
例句:We dislike people such as him.
3.pick up 捡起;拾起;拿起
例句:She would cleverly pick up on what I said.
4.fight for 为…而战
例句:We are prepared to fight for every inch of territory.