The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party has said that it was “unacceptable” for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to act as the primary political actor in the coalition talks, demanding that he stay within the boundaries determined by the constitution.
He also said that it was the duty of the opposition parties to form a government, after they collectively gained the majority of the vote in the June 7 parliamentary election.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP), made the remarks at a press conference before meeting his party’s board on Monday to discuss coalition options.
The conservative Justice and Development Party (AK party) won the polls, but lost its rights to form a single-party government after 13 years of ruling the country.
“Pulling the presidency into the constitutional boundaries is one of our main principles. More, it is unacceptable for him to appear as a primary actor at a time where coalition talks are going on,” Kilicdaroglu said.
“The person who will make the coalition talks is the one that will be assigned by the president. What is he [Erdogan] going to talk about with us?”
In contrast to Turkish customs, Erdogan said that he would talk to all leaders before assigning one of them to form a new coalition government.
In a country where the office of the president is constitutionally neutral, Erdogan made political remarks in numerous public appearances before the elections, rallying for a new presidential system to boost his office’s powers, criticising opposition parties and praising the services of the AK party.
Erdogan led AK party until last year, when he resigned to take over the presidency.
The AK party has secured 258 MPs, below the 276 seats necessary to form a single-party government in the 550-seat parliament.