MHP will support Erdogan in 2019 election: Bahceli

<p style="text-align: left;">Turkey opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will not name a candidate for the presidential election due to take place in 2019, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has announced, vowing to support ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

&ldquo;The MHP will not present a presidential candidate. The leader of the MHP will not be a presidential candidate. The MHP is loyal to the spirit that was initiated on Aug. 7, 2017,&rdquo; Bahceli told reporters in Ankara on Jan. 8.

He was referring to the period after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that created the groundwork for an alliance between the MHP and the AKP in a mass rally in Istanbul&rsquo;s Yenikapi on Aug. 7, 2017. The two parties subsequently teamed up to prepare for the referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system, which was narrowly approved by voters on April 16, 2017.

According to Hurriyet daily Bahceli said the alliance would continue in the upcoming elections in 2019, where the system change stipulated by the constitutional amendment that grants weeping powers to the president-elect will go fully in effect.

&ldquo;In the presidential elections, the MHP will act in accordance with the Yenikapi spirit and will make a decision to support Recep Tayyip Erdogan,&rdquo; he added.

The MHP leader also said there have not been any formal meetings with the AKP regarding a pre-election alliance for the parliamentary elections.

&ldquo;If there will be an alliance, the MHP will enter parliamentary elections in the alliance. If there will not be an alliance, the MHP will stand in the elections as the MHP,&rdquo; Bahceli said, answering a question on whether the MHP would support the AKP in elections without its party identity if the legislative amendment is not granted.

Speculation about such an alliance has risen as recent opinion polls suggest that the MHP would struggle to overcome the 10 percent threshold to enter parliament.

Reporter&rsquo;s code: 50101

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