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News > World

Turkish President Erdogan Calls Snap Elections for November 1

  • Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan looks on durin his visit to Northern Cyprus July 20, 2015.

    Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan looks on durin his visit to Northern Cyprus July 20, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 August 2015

Analysts argue the snap elections have been called to allow Turks to “correct the mistake” made in the June elections.

Turkey will hold snap elections November 1, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Friday, after the country's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu formally told him he had failed in forming a coalition government.

“God willing, on November 1, Turkey will go through what I like to call repeat elections,” said Erdogan, who told reporters he had no intention of giving Turkey’s opposition leader the opportunity to reform a government.

According to Turkish law, if the main party in Parliament fails to form a coalition government, the president can give a mandate to the leader of the second-largest party to form government. 

Erdogan made it clear he would not do this, a first in Turkish political history. He instead called for snap elections. Erdogan is expected to assign Davutoglu with forming the interim government that includes members from all parties in the Parliament.

RELATED: In Turkey, a Perfect Storm Gathers on the Horizon

After ruling Turkey since 2002 as a single-party government, the AK Party failed to win the majority in Parliament in the general elections that took place in June. This ended Erdogan's hopes of establishing a presidential system by changing the constitution, a move which would require a strong majority in the assembly.

However, Erdogan, who founded the AK Party and was its leader before being elected president, is accused of interfering in coalition talks in order to help his former party regain a majority and pass changes to the constitution that would allow for a presidential system.

Turkish people have repeatedly indicated that they do not want a presidential system. A recent poll said that only 26 percent of Turks supported the proposal.

The AK Party lost the majority when the leftist pro-Kurdish party, the HDP, secured more than 80 seats in Parliament, passing the 10 percent threshold limit on party representation and thus allowing its deputies to enter parliament for the first time.

RELATED: A History of the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict

Critics say that the Turkish government and Erdogan pushed for the recent operation against the Kurdistan's Workers' Party, or the PKK, in order to attract anti-PKK Nationalist votes, which normally go to the Nationalist party MHP.

Turks will go to a second round of elections amid renewed violence between the PKK and Turkish security forces after Turkey began bombing PKK locations in Southeast Turkey and Northern Iraq last month.

Turkey has also launched air strikes, on a smaller scale, against the Islamic State group in Syria and taken on an active role in the U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group with Ankara opening its southern air bases to U.S. jets.

RELATED: US Shows its Real Face in Choosing Turkey over the Kurds

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