Obtained by the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, the report outlined three major and several minor causes for the decrease in votes from 47 percent to 39 percent in only one and half years.
The three major reasons are the “financial crisis, wrong mayoral candidates and vague government policies,” according to the report, which was prepared by a special committee after March 29 local elections.
The financial crisis came out as the major reason for the decrease in votes for the AKP, the report stated. Despite this, the government’s anti-crisis packets proved useful in increasing votes in industrial cities like Konya, Kayseri, Bursa and Kocaeli. The report showed that the government’s inability to respond to citizens’ demands triggered the vote loss, especially in the Southeast and eastern regions.
In terms of cities that the AKP won with a narrow margin or lost, the report concluded that the reason was the wrong candidate. Accordingly, if the AKP had entered the election race with better candidates and carried out an effective election campaign, it would have left the opposition parties behind, getting most of the votes, the report stated.
Public disappointment with the party’s reformist structure appeared to be another element that adversely affected the AKP’s support. Following a landslide victory in the 2007 general elections, the AKP immediately kicked off its studies on a new constitution, the Political Parties Law and European Union accession reforms but could not materialize them.
The report also drew attention to the local alliances between the opposition parties before the local elections. Referring to the cities like Sakarya, Adıyaman and Malatya, where Saadet (Felicity) Party’s votes increased, the report concluded that other political parties also supported the Saadet Party in these cities.
Expectations for Cabinet reshuffle
The ruling party discussed the committee report at this week’s Central Executive Board, or MYK, meeting. Erdoğan will meet with deputies and Central Decision and Executive Board, or MKYK, members in the upcoming days in an attempt to make a broader evaluation.
“The AKP proved that it is Turkey’s party in the elections,” the party concluded during the MYK meeting, pointing to the party’s votes from all around the country. The argument was founded on the fact that AKP won 45 of 81 provinces and that it became the first party in 85 of 143 metropolitan districts and in 447 of 892 district mayoralties. The AKP got votes from all regions of Turkey while other parties won votes only in certain districts, the AKP said.
The evaluations at the MYK have also increased the expectations for a change in the party’s lineup. Erdoğan is expected to reshuffle the Cabinet in light of the evaluations of the results. The AKP will hold its congress meeting in the autumn, but sources said the meeting could be held earlier to replace MKYK members. The party will also follow a reformist line, focus on the EU and deal with issues like constitutional amendments in the new term.