Turkey CHP leader urges opposition to form coalition government
ANKARA - Turkey's opposition parties that garnered most of the vote in the June 7 legislative polls should form a coalition government, the leader of the second-placed Republican People's Party (CHP) said on Monday.
"The duty to form a coalition government falls on the bloc of 60 percent," Kemal Kilicdaroglu told a news conference in Ankara, referring to the third-placed Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and fourth-placed pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
"We must think about Turkey, not the next election," he warned.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP), co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won 41 percent of the vote in the election but lost its overall majority in the 550-seat parliament, making it unable to form a government alone.
The result was a major setback for Erdogan himself, who had wanted to change Turkey's constitution into a presidential system.
Erdogan on Sunday said he would ask the AKP to form a coalition government but also added that he would invite the leaders of all four parties who won seats in parliament for talks this week -- which was deemed highly unusual for a head of state by opposition parties.
Kilicdaroglu on Monday rejected Erdogan's offer as "unacceptable", adding that the president cannot be the "primary actor" in coalition talks.
The two other opposition parties, the MHP and HDP, similarly rejected Erdogan's invitation.
Observers say the AKP could team up with MHP but also note that a grand coalition with the CHP is also possible, similar to the one now ruling Germany.
The CHP and MHP have indicated they expect concessions from Erdogan as the price of a coalition, including that he moves out of his controversial presidential palace and reopens corruption investigations against three disgraced former ministers.