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Turkish opposition trades favors as AKP limps

Turkey’s nationalist party leader Devlet Bahceli has floated a proposal to change electoral laws, fueling rumors of a possible snap election.
ANKARA, TURKEY - MARCH 10: Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) Leader, Devlet Bahceli speaks during his party's group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, in Ankara, Turkey on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Rasit Aydogan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — While Turkey’s next general elections are scheduled for 2023, an economic slowdown stemming from the coronavirus pandemic is shifting the nation’s political dynamics and giving rise to rumors that snap elections might be called in the not-so-distant future.

Last week, Devlet Bahceli, head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), added fire to such speculation by proposing changes to electoral laws. The measures would make it more difficult for members of parliament to join newly formed opposition parties and pose a more formidable electoral threat to Ankara’s ruling bloc known as the “People’s Alliance,” which is composed of the MHP and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

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