Turkish PM Returns Mandate to Erdogan

August 18, 2015  

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday returned the mandate to form a government to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Erdogan received Davutoglu at 7.30 p.m. local (1630 GMT) at the Presidential Palace in capital Ankara, according to the news agency.

Davutoglu, who is also the chairman of the Justice and Development (AK) Party, told Erdogan that despite his best efforts he could not find any possibility to form a coalition government.

The president thanked the prime minister for his efforts, a statement from the Turkish presidency added.

Erdogan is now expected to make a decision about the early election soon.

Davutoglu had said on Monday that no agreement was reached at a last-ditch meeting with a nationalist party to form a coalition alliance, leaving Turkey with little option but to hold new elections.

The ruling party came first in elections in June but lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in more than a decade, forcing it to seek a coalition partnership. Coalition-building efforts with Turkey’s pro-secular party had collapsed last week.

Davutoglu was given a mandate to form a government by Erdogan on July 9. The AK Party and the opposition CHP boast the first and second largest parliamentary groups after the June 7 general election, with 258 and 131 seats, respectively. The MHP and HDP have 80 seats each.

The AK Party began talks with second-placed CHP on July 13, and after a month of negotiations, the process dissolved on August 13 without a compromise, according to Anadolu.

Davutoglu then sought out the MHP but the talks proved short-lived.

According to the Turkish constitution, a caretaker government can be formed only if a government was not formed and if the president decides to hold a new general election.

The constitution says that only the president or the parliament may decide to hold a new election. If the president issues a decision, a Cabinet of ministers will be formed and the president will appoint a temporary prime minister.

Any new poll is likely to take place in late November, although Turkey’s election board has the power to cut the 90-day period by half and told Anadolu on Tuesday that it could hold elections in 45 days if the call is made.

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