Military engagement increases Erdogan support
President Erdogan’s strategy to increase support for his party by engaging militarily against the Kurds and ISIS in Syria and Iraq is working. A new poll shows that President Erdogan’s AKP now has 42.9% of voting intentions compared to 25-26% for the Kemalist CHP, 16-17% for the nationalist MHP and 10-11% for the Kurdish HDP. We think Turkey is heading for fresh elections later this year.
Why another election so soon after the last one? The reason is that President Erdogan is uncomfortable with his current 41% share of seats in parliament, which limits his scope of effect change and carries considerable risks, including legal risks.
Erdogan needs his party to garner at least 45% of voting intentions in order to restore an outright majority. Hence, he may be trying to take votes from the MHP by outdoing them in the nationalism stakes – war against IS and PKK – while Erdogan hopes to bring cross-over supporters for the HDP back to the fold by portraying the Kurds as enemies of Turkey. Ongoing coalition talks are, at best, a fall-back position in case the votes do not return.
Argentina to resolve holdout issue
In an important announcement last week, presidential candidate Daniel Scioli indicated for the first time that he wants to see the holdout issue resolved “once and for all”. It is no coincidence that Scioli’s comments come just days after Economy Minister Alex Kicillof said that Argentina needs to settle the holdout conflict.
Kicillof’s status as minister means that his announcement is de facto government policy. Thus, Scioli is now able openly to support a deal with holdout investors without appearing to be at odds with the Kirchner administration, whose votes he needs in order to become president.
Kiciloff’s U-turn on the holdout issue not only spared President Cristina Kirchner’s blushes, but also gave a green light for Scioli to begin to woo international investors. In sum, Argentina is on track for a quick resolution of the holdout issue after the next administration assumes office, regardless of who wins. For more details please see “A New Argentina”, The Emerging View, March 2015.
Argentina held primary elections on 9 August. At the time of writing, Daniel Scioli, the candidate most closely aligned with the Kirchner administration, was in the lead over opposition candidate Mauricio Macri. Each political group has a list of candidates and the most successful candidate on each list goes forth to contest for each of the seats in question, including the biggest chair of them all, the presidency.
In addition to the presidency, one half of the members of the Lower House and one third of Upper House are up for grabs. Voting is open and mandatory, so primaries have in the recent past been excellent indicators of the outcome of subsequent general elections.