ISSN 2330-717X

Turkey: Erdogan Calls For November 1 Elections

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Turks will be called back to the ballot box on November 1 for the second legislative election this year, after parties failed to agree on a coalition in an initial round, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during televised remarks Friday.

“Currently, the date that has been announced in November 1,” Erdogan said, as cited by the state-run Anadolu news agency. The election board had proposed this date.

The snap elections come just months after the last poll in June, which saw the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Erdogan helped found, fail to achieve a majority in parliament for the first time since it swept to power in 2002.

Coalition talks saw wide divides between the AKP and the other three parties in parliament, in part over the role Erdogan would play in governance.

Erdogan was directly elected as president last year. He has since taken on powers not wielded by his predecessor as head of state and has called for this de facto situation to be recognized through constitutional changes.

In the campaign before the last election, Erdogan had urged voters to back the AKP so it could enact legal amendments and empower the presidency, but this bid failed.

The official 45-day mandate to form a government ends on Sunday, after which the date for the fresh election can be made formal. It is meant to be set by the election commission.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, leader of the AKP, already announced this week he was giving up trying to form a coalition with a junior partner.

Erdogan is expected to meet the speaker of parliament on Monday to prepare for the next stages, including the formation of a temporary government to carry the country over until the election.

This government could contain members of all parties in parliament, should they be willing.

The June election also saw the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) enter parliament for the first time.

Last month, the ceasefire between the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the state broke down, putting pressure both on the ruling party and the pro-Kurdish civilian movement.

By Shabtai Gold

Original article

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