Home Latest News Turkey P.M. to Form Transitional Cabinet Ahead of Polls

Turkey P.M. to Form Transitional Cabinet Ahead of Polls

by AFP
Adem Altan—AFP

Adem Altan—AFP

Snap elections will be held in November after government failed to form coalition.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will on Friday submit for presidential approval a list detailing the provisional cabinet, which will run Turkey until new elections in November.

The meeting between Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will take place at 1530 GMT, a press aide from premier’s office told AFP, indicating a 45 minute delay from the time initially indicated.

Erdogan called new elections after Davutoglu, whose ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its overall majority in parliament in June polls, failed to form a coalition government with the opposition. He appointed Davutoglu to form an interim “election government” which according to the constitution must be made up of all parties represented in parliament.

It is the first time in modern Turkish history that post-election talks on forming a coalition government have failed.

“We are talking about a provisional government. It’s entirely Mr. Prime Minister’s own discretion,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told private NTV television. “The cabinet must be formed by tomorrow [Saturday] at the latest according to the law,” he said.

The AKP, which hopes to regain its overall majority in the Nov. 1 elections, will have 11 ministries in the new government, the second-placed Republican People’s Party (CHP) will hold five, and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) three apiece. It is the first time that members of a pro-Kurdish party will occupy cabinet positions.

The opposition parties have refused to take part in the interim government, making the HDP, which the government accuses of being a political front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the AKP’s major partner in the new cabinet. HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas has said his party will take part in the caretaker cabinet.

“The ministries are not the AK Party’s registered property. Why shall we leave to them? We will sit in those ministerial seats,” he was quoted by local media as saying.

In a deviation from the party line, MHP lawmaker Tugrul Turkes, son of party founder Alparslan Turkes, accepted the invitation to join the cabinet in a move denounced by the faction’s leadership.

Speaking to his party’s provincial heads, Davutoglu said: “We will work just like a four-year government as we are heading toward Nov. 1.” And he accused the opposition parties of pushing his party into HDP’s embrace for political reasons.

The election comes at a time of escalating violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, which has for now killed off hopes of resolving the three-decade insurgency.

Erdogan on Wednesday urged voters to choose “stability” in the November—in a clear message to vote for the AKP thereby avoiding the instability caused by shaky coalition governments that marred Turkish politics before the party came to power in 2002. But Fitch Ratings warned on Friday that new elections may “prolong rather than end the political uncertainty” that is overshadowing Turkey’s domestic and external policy challenges.

The breakdown of peace process with the PKK and offensive against Islamic State militants in Syria could be “negative for the sovereign risk profile in the medium term” if there were an escalation of violence within Turkey, or if were drawn into a protracted regional conflict, it said.

Commentators say new elections are unlikely to yield a result which very different from the outcome in June. “More of the same, it appears,” Inan Demir, chief economist at Istanbul-based Finansbank, wrote in an email. “Based on the currently available information, seat distribution in the next parliament is unlikely to be very different and AKP is likely to fall short of absolute majority, again.”

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