According to the greenroom chatters in Ankara, the AKP has assigned a whip for every 10 AKP members of the parliament. The parliament members that were picked by ex-prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have also been followed with special attention. MPs who might vote against the constitutional changes have been apparently threatened by not being included in the electoral lists in the upcoming elections.
Nuray Babacan (Hürriyet) reports:
“The first claim of an early election in case if the constitutional changes were vetoed by the parliament was brought forward by the the AKP Vice Chairman, MP Mustafa Elitaş. Elitaş declared that an early election was inevitable if the constitutional changes were rejected. After the same claim was made by MHP party president Devlet Bahçeli an arduous debate was ignited in the parliament. This move was accordingly made in order to oblige MPs from the AKP and the MHP to vote in favour of the constitutional changes.”
Closely followed MPs
Both the AKP and the MHP do not have a hard time finding out which MPs would vote against the constitutional changes. This was apparently also the topic of conversation of the meeting between Bahçeli and prime minister Binali Yıldırım and Bahçeli had reported that 15 of his MPs could veto the constitutional changes. The AKP is also aware of its MPs who are highly doubtful of the checks and balances provided by the constitutional changes. The early election claims are a deal breaker for new MPs as they cannot benefit from retirement advantages if they have not been an MP for more than 2 years.
Translation: Denizalp Goktas