Erdogan Breaks Silence as Turkey PM Seeks Coalition

Erdogan Breaks Silence as Turkey PM Seeks Coalition
Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:32:35

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to deliver Thursday his first speech since legislative elections, with his party set to talk to the opposition on forming a coalition after it lost its parliamentary majority in the polls.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which unexpectedly fell short of a majority in Sunday's vote, has however said it will consider every option, including early elections, if the discussions fail.

"Only the AKP will lead the coalition talks but if others block the road we will think of every option," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a live interview with state television, in a reference to possible new polls.

Davutoglu said he was prepared to meet with all of the three opposition parties who won seats in parliament, including the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP).

"I will sincerely meet with every opposition party. We have no red lines," he said.

"We always said a coalition is not the best option but if the people make such a choice, what falls on us is to make the best of it."

The election results meant the AKP will have 258 seats in the hung 550-seat parliament, in what was seen as a major blow for the Islamic-rooted party which has ruled Turkey for the last 13 years.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) will have 132 seats, and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the HDP 80 apiece.

Davutoglu said the AKP would carry out a survey to find out where it went wrong in the elections and also what kind of coalition its voters wanted, while stressing it was still "a success" that his party took the largest share of the ballots.

Markets had after the vote been rattled by the prospect of fresh elections but the possibility appears to have receded in recent days in favour of a coalition.

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