Turkey: AK Party-CHP coalition talks end without result
Early elections are a 'strong possibility', Turkish PM Davutoglu says, after negotiations between AK Party and CHP prove inconclusive

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced that his Justice and Development (AK) Party's negotiations with the Republican People's Party (CHP) have ended without an agreement to form a coalition government.

Addressing a press conference at the AK Party headquarters in Ankara on Thursday, Davutoglu said, "We have come to the conclusion that the groundwork for a government partnership has not materialized," citing "profound differences, mainly in foreign policy and education".

He said that the CHP side had expressed "reservations" about a "short-term reform government", marking one of the main differences in the two parties' views.

With just over a week to go before the deadline for a coalition government expires, early elections "is a strong possibility", Davutoglu said, while leaving the door open for talks with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

AK Party and the CHP have the first and second largest parliamentary groups after the June 7 general election, with 258 and 131 seats, respectively. The MHP and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) have 80 seats each.

Davutoglu denounced allegations that he and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had differences on whether to form a government or hold early elections, saying: "The idea that the president did not want a coalition and I was pushing for it instead is nothing but slander.

"The president never told me that ‘it would be better without the coalition’.”

Davutoglu said that his party "will never leave this country without a government for a second”, and would strive to prevent any crisis.

The prime minister noted that he preferred the Turkish parliament to act on its own to decide on early elections, rather than the president declaring it.

Snap elections not the only choice, says CHP leader

Early elections should not be proposed as the only solution, Turkey's Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said Thursday following the conclusion of fruitless AK Party-CHP coalition talks.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's Justice and Development (AK) Party had been seeking a coalition partner after no party won a simple majority in the June 7 general election, but announced earlier on Thursday that no agreement to form a coalition government had been found with the CHP leader.

"I don't think it is right to say right away that early elections are the only alternative," the CHP leader told reporters, referring to Davutoglu's earlier remarks that there was a "strong possibility" for such elections to take place.

Kilicdaroglu said that Turkey missed a "historic opportunity" of "trying out" a coalition government in line with the national will.

"If votes have been divided between political parties in such a way that no party garnered enough votes to single-handedly come to power, then respect for the national will requires the formation of a coalition government," he said.

"If you say that you cannot do it and will go to elections instead, then how can you talk about [respecting] the national will? This [a coalition] should have been tried out. I think Turkey missed a historic opportunity," Kilicdaroglu said.

AK Party denies CHP was offered 'election government'

Justice and Development (AK) Party denied Thursday the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu was offered to participate in an election government, which is formed when the parliament decides to hold elections due to the government can not be established within 45-day legal period.

Earlier, Kilicdaroglu told reporters, following the conclusion of fruitless AK Party-CHP coalition talks, that "so far we have only been proposed an election government [transition government ahead of early parliamentary elections], not a coalition".

AK Party officials denied Thursday evening Kilicdaroglu's claims. Instead, they claim the CHP was offered to form a "short-term reform government" over issues agreed upon by both parties. It was not specified how long said short-term government would have lasted.

AK Party officials said the CHP had insisted on the establishment of a four-year coalition government.

Turkish PM turns to MHP after CHP coalition talks fail

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has requested to meet with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli following the failed coalition talks between the Justice and Development (AK) Party and the Republican People's Party (CHP).

Davutoglu's request was submitted to Bahceli in the evening hours, prime ministry sources said.

Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has agreed to meet with PM Ahmet Davutoglu after the latter requested a meeting following the failed coalition talks between the Justice and Development (AK) Party and the Republican People's Party (CHP) Thursday.

"The Nationalist Movement Party is open to meeting with AK Party, with the previous conditions reserved and final," Bahceli said.

"We are still not open to a minority or election government [transition government ahead of early parliamentary elections] though," he said, adding there was "no turning back" on this issue.

Davutoglu's AK Party had been seeking a coalition partner after no party won a simple majority in the June 7 general election, but the PM announced earlier on Thursday that no agreement to form a coalition government had been found with CHP leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

Davutoglu had met with Bahceli on July 14 as part of the first round of coalition talks. Following the meeting, Davutoglu told reporters that the MHP had opted not to take part in a coalition government.

"[Bahceli] spoke to reiterate his stance of staying out of a coalition partnership," he said, adding that the two agreed to meet again during the second round if needed.

Bahceli issued a written statement Monday, calling for an immediate formation of a coalition government between the AK Party and the CHP.

"These two parties should not avoid taking the big responsibility that history has put them in front of and should show their will and attention to form a government in line with national interests," Bahceli said.

He also urged the two parties to hold coalition negotiations "without behaving reluctantly or having imaginary discussions involving infertile standoffs".

When the deadline to form a government expires on August 23, either Erdogan or the parliament may decide to hold a new election. If the president issues the decision, then polling is supposed to be held in the first Sunday following a 90-day period starting from the end of the first deadline.

In the current set of circumstances, this scenario suggests renewed polling in November.

However, if the parliament makes the decision for a new election, then the Supreme Election Board can reduce this 90-day period by as much as half.

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

Since 2002, the AK Party won three general elections to continue a single-party rule for well over a decade, which ended after the June 7 elections this year produced no majority government.

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Last Modified: 2015-08-14 08:12:41
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