Turkish President Erdogan calls new election | News | DW | 24.08.2015
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Turkish President Erdogan calls new election

A new parliamentary election will be held in Turkey after the prime minister failed to form a coalition. The snap polls are expected to be on November 1.

In a widely anticipated move, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for a fresh parliamentary election late Monday, after two months of coalition talks failed to produce a coalition government ahead of a deadline.

The former prime minister and founder of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had already hinted that he wanted fresh polls rather than enter a power-sharing coalition with a second or third party.

While Monday's presidential statement didn't say when the new election would be held, Erdogan had previously said the election should be held November 1.

This follows a June 7 ballot when Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AKP received the largest share of the vote, but lost its overall majority in parliament for the first time since it first came to power in 2002. Much of AKP's ground was lost to a pro-Kurdish party that won a record share of the vote in Turkey's predominantely Kurdish southeast.

Failed coalition talks

Ahmet Davutoglu, who succeeded Erdogan as prime minister after he became president, tried unsuccessfully to form a coalition government, holding talks first with the Republican People's Party (CHP), which came in third in the June election, and later with the third-placed Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The prime minister, who set the stage for the snap election by handing back his mandate to form a government to the president earlier this week, is expected to be tasked with forming an interim administration.

Erdogan could have used his presidential powers to give the leader of the CHP the opportunity to form a government, but elected to call the snap polls instead. Erdogan, who says he wants to change the constitution to strengthen the role of the president, is likely banking on the AKP recovering its parliamentary majority in the snap election.

Deadly violence increases

But it's not clear that will happen. Uncertainty abounds as the Turkish military is involved in an air campaign both against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and "Islamic State" militants.

An increase in violence between security forces and Kurdish militants as well as economic troubles in which the Turkish lira has dropped to record lows against the dollar, means instability that could backfire on the president and his former party.

Add the fact that hundreds - mostly security forces and militants - have been killed since July in renewed conflict between the PKK, Erdogan's 2 1/2-year-old peace process with Turkey's Kurdish minority is in tatters which analysts say could also punish his political allies at the polls.

jar/jil (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)

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