A Stronger Second Mandate for Erdogan and the JDP
July 31, 2007
By winning a decisive victory in the July 22 parliamentary elections, the Justice and Development Party (JDP) firmly underlined its stunning success in the November 2002 elections - achieved only a year after its establishment - and consolidated its clear superiority over its rivals. Having increased its support by gaining the votes of nearly half the Turks who went to the polls, the JDP can legitimately claim durability as well as formidable strength in the turbulent world of Turkish politics.
The new mandate represents a personal victory for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the JDP, who confirmed during his second successful electoral campaign that his charisma, popular touch and seemingly inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm make him the dominant political personality in Turkey. His declaration during the campaign that he would resign if the JDP did not win was a vivid illustration of his immense confidence in his ability to connect with the Turkish voters. Although the JDP might well have won the elections without him, it surely could not have won as comfortably if Erdogan had not been leading the party ticket.