Turkish PM begins first round of coalition talks

Ahmet Davutoglu meets with Republican People's Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Turkish PM begins first round of coalition talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with the Republican People's Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Monday to hold the first of several discussions on a potential coalition formation.

 The first of several talks aimed towards forming a coalition government - after no party gained a clear majority in the general election last June - took place at the CHP headquarters in the capital Ankara at 2:15 p.m. local time (1115GMT).

"We have no prejudices or prerequisites. We are ready to discuss all the essential issues required for governance," the Turkish premier had said at an iftar event organized by the AK Party in Istanbul Sunday.

He is expected to hold a press conference following the meeting, which is closed to the media.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Celik, Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Justice and Development (AK) Party Istanbul MP Ayse Nur Bahcekapili are also in attendance at the meeting.

The Turkish premier said he would discuss all options, suggestions and opinions with other party leaders in an “open-hearted manner".

"I hope that we can establish a new government at the earliest, and in a way that would satisfy everybody in the country. Our only purpose is to form this government through mutual understanding, and without wasting any time," he said.

Davutoglu is next scheduled to meet the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, on Tuesday, and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, on Wednesday as part of the first round of negotiations in order to form a government partnership.

"The second round of meetings will be held in accordance with the atmosphere following Eid al-Fitr," Davutoglu said on July 9, referring to post-Ramadan celebrations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had asked Davutoglu to form a new government on July 9.

Davutoglu now has 41 days left to form a government around the AK Party, which gained the largest share of parliamentary seats (258) in the June 7 general election.

Although the party came in first, it did not win enough seats (276 seats) to form a majority government, so it must attempt to forge a coalition with one of three other parliamentary parties - the second place CHP (132 seats), the MHP (80 seats) or the pro-Kurdish HDP (80 seats) . Either the left-leaning CHP or the nationalist MHP are likely to be Davutoglu's preferred partners.

If he is unable to form a coalition, tradition dictates the president should offer the second place party the chance to create an administration within another 45-day period. Should this also fail to provide Turkey with a governing coalition, the president must call a fresh election and appoint a prime minister within five days to form an interim government consisting of representatives from all four parties.

The new election would likely be held around the end of November.

The last coalition talks in Turkey were made 16 years ago, when the Democratic Left Party (DSP) of the late premier Bulent Ecevit failed to win the majority at the general election on April 18, 1999.

Last Mod: 13 Temmuz 2015, 15:45
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