Turkey’s nationalists cut alliance with Erdogan’s party

October 23, 2018 GMT

ISTANBUL (AP) — The head of Turkey’s main nationalist party has announced it won’t go ahead with an electoral alliance it had forged with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party.

Speaking Tuesday in parliament, Devlet Bahceli of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, said it would field its own candidates in the March 2019 local elections.

The split with the ruling Justice and Development Party comes amid conflict over an amnesty for certain prisoners that the nationalists have proposed.

“We will now chart our own path. We do not plan to ally,” Bahceli said as his lawmakers cheered.

MHP was a key part of Erdogan’s electoral alliance in this summer’s parliamentary and presidential elections. Erdogan’s party failed to reach parliamentary majority and must rely on the nationalist lawmakers.