Erdogan urges political parties to show responsibility

President calls on parties to act responsibly in coalition talks after his former party lost majority in the parliament.

A special forces police officer takes security measure
Both Erdogan and PM Davutoglu had campaigned for a new presidential system to replace the current parliamentary one [Reuters]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on all political parties to show responsibility in the “new process” following the parliamentary polls that made his former party lose its single-party government.

Sunday’s outcome augurs long calculations to form a coalition government within 45 days and an early election will be called if political parties fail.

All three opposition parties in the parliament said that they would not enter into a coalition with the Justice and Development Party (AK party), which is now led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, after Erdogan took over the constitutionally neutral presidential seat.

Disappointment for supporters of Turkey’s AK party

The president is set to meet Davutoglu later on Monday.

Erdogan had unofficially campaigned for his former party to get two-thirds majority in the polls in order to change the constitution and create a new presidential republic to replace the parliamentary system. 

However, the AK party, which governed the country alone for the last 13 years, failed even to achieve a simple majority, although it remained the biggest party.

Erdogan’s first remarks after the polls remained strictly presidential in line with the seat’s customs.

He acknowledged that the AK party would not be able to govern alone and urged Turkey’s political forces to show responsibility in “a new process”.

“According to the available results, no party will be able to govern alone,” he said in a statement released by the presidency.

“Political forces [should] show responsible behaviour and the necessary sensitivity to preserve the atmosphere of stability and confidence in our country and our democratic achievements,” he said. “Our nation’s will is above everything.”

HDP factor

The AK party won 41 percent of the vote, followed by the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) with 25 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) at 16.5 percent, and the pro-Kurdish left-wing People’s Democracy Party (HDP) with 13 percent.

With this result, the AK party will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, with the CHP getting 132, and the MHP and HDP securing 80 apiece. A coalition with more than 275 seats will form a government.

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In the polls, the HDP has become the first pro-Kurdish party to cross the country’s unusually high 10 percent electoral threshold. The success of the HDP affected the distribution of seats and, consequently, the power of the ruling party.

The party had fielded independent candidates in the last two polls that significantly decreased the number of the MPs it won through Turkey’s electoral system.

Talking to journalists on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus played down the chance of early elections ahead of a cabinet meeting chaired by Davutoglu, saying it was the “most distant possibility”.

Bulent Arinc, another deputy prime minister, suggested that the MHP, CHP and HDP should try and form a coalition between themselves.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies