Turkey’s AKP to decide on possible CHP coalition this week – officials

The heads of Turkey’s ruling AK Party and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will make a final decision this week on whether to form a coalition government after a first round of talks ended without conclusion, officials said.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the capital Ankara on Monday after weeks of negotiations between lower-ranking party officials.

“The two chairmen will meet again this week on Thursday or Friday depending on their schedules. Will there be a coalition or not? A clear answer to that question will be given after that meeting,” Culture and Tourism Minister Omer Celik, who has been leading the negotiations for the AKP, told reporters.

Haluk Koc, deputy chairman of the CHP, also said the meeting would be either on Thursday or Friday.

The AKP lost its parliament majority in a June 7 election for the first time since it came to power, plunging Turkey into political uncertainty not seen since the fragile coalition governments of the 1990s.

Parties have until Aug. 23 to agree a working coalition or President Tayyip Erdogan could call a new election.

Erdogan has made little secret of his preference for single-party rule. Opponents say he wants another election to enable the AKP to win enough of a majority to change the constitution and grant him greater powers as an executive president.

Source: Reuters