ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “is open to” all possible coalition options for a new government, including a partnership which would exclude the ruling party that he founded, a senior opposition legislator said Wednesday.
Deniz Baykal, a former leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, also told reporters after a meeting with Erdogan that the president hoped for a quick end to the political uncertainty. As the oldest elected legislator, Baykal is expected to head the new parliament until a new speaker is chosen.
The ruling Justice and Development Party got around 41 percent of the votes in Sunday’s election, but lost its parliamentary majority, forcing it to seek a coalition partnership or a fragile minority government with other parties’ support. Early elections loom if no deal is reached.
The party is projected to take up 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament — 18 seats short of the minimum required to rule alone.
The result was a strong rebuke to Erdogan who, flouting constitutional rules that require the president to be neutral, had waged a fierce and confrontational campaign in his bid to win a supermajority for the ruling party. A strong majority would have allowed the party to change the constitution and usher in a presidential system which would have given Erdogan executive powers.
In an interview with state-run TRT television, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that as the party which received the most votes, the people had tasked the ruling party to form a coalition. The party was willing to negotiate with all three parties represented in parliament “without ruling any of them out” and without pre-conditions, Davutoglu said.
“We will talk to all party leaders sincerely,” Davutoglu said. “If compromise is required, we will compromise… We do not have any red lines.”
Erdogan is expected to ask Davutoglu to form a new government after the election’s final official results are released.