What can the Portuguese learn from Turkish elections?

In June elections, HDP passed the 10% legal threshold and therefore AKP lost majority.

AKP (government) 40% - 258 seats
CHP (social democrats) 25% - 132 seats
MHP (nationalists) 16% - 80 seats
HDP (Kurdish-socialist alliance) 13% - 80 seats
President Tayyip, still the background leader of AKP, first gave the government responsibility to AKP leader Ahmet (a.k.a. the squirrel man), who killed all his legally allowed time in futile negotiations.

Then, Tayyip refused to give the 60% a chance, and instead organized the Suruç massacre that not only killed some of the most beautiful 35 people in the world but also started a civil war between the Turkish state and the Kurdish movement, breaking with the years-long cease-fire. (This civil war later included the Ankara massacre, the single most violent attack in Turkish history.)

Tayyip called for early elections on November 1st - his legal “right” as a president, mind you. Several fine-tuning and rearrangement strategies were used to give the “right” results:

  • Civil war fed nationalist hysteria, moving votes from MHP to AKP in an attempt to secure single-party government fighting against terrorism.
  • It also allowed extra-ordinary measures to be taken in the Kurdish cities, shuffling voting zones and ballot boxes, together with strong police presence during the elections.
The preliminary results:

AKP 49% ~ 315 seats
CHP 25% ~ 135 seats
MHP 12% ~ 40 seats
HDP 10% ~ 60 seats

This gives AKP a majority government.

Tayyip did not follow the constitution or law. He followed his class interest above all, never let his power put in question, reconsidered his strategy (not his objectives nor his legitimacy), and advanced. He has the power, so he had all the space for maneuvering around the voting system.

We did our best but, under direct attack, we failed to prevent this large scale manipulation and cheating campaign.

Coming back to Portugal, three weeks ago, the right-wing coalition lost majority. After long negotiations, Cavaco gave the responsibility of forming government to Steps Rabbit, although he didn't seem to have a chance at the time. Many commentators discuss whether this was a coup or not, how Cavaco should have acted etc.

Cavaco knows what is in favor of his class interest, and he is following it. He will never be bothered by the constitution and such.

To be clear: PaF needs time, not in order to open civil war as in Turkey, but in order to produce an anti-communist hysteria within PS to make them surrender. Cavaco had the power to give them that time, so he did.

Those whose analyses are trapped inside bourgeois legality will never understand the class character of Cavaco's move.

But we have this burning example in front of us, an example of urgent left-wing strategy failed, from which we can try to learn what to do now: What to do instead of waiting for them to run their strategy until their victory.


PS: If Turkish politics is too complicated for you to catch the context, read about the 1917 Revolution. Read “Ten Days That Shook The World” to see how same legal tricks were used to avoid radical change in the society. (Well, in this case, it will not be an example of failed strategy though.)