Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that if attempts to form a coalition fail, a temporary minority government should be formed only to lead the country to an early election rather than an interim government.
Speaking to reporters during his flight to Indonesia, President Erdogan said “If coalition talks lead to nowhere, we should immediately turn to our nation so that we avoid the current uncertainty.”
When asked about the possibility of a minority government, Erdogan stated “I am against a permanent minority government. A temporary minority government supported by one or two parties could bring Turkey to early election."
Minority Government vs. Interim Government
There is a difference between the temporary minority government that President Erdogan supports and an interim government.
According to the 116th article of the Constitution of Turkey, if coalition initiatives fail in after 45 days the president must call for an early election and appoint a prime minister within five days to form an interim government comprising of representatives from all four parties, according to their number of deputies.
In this case, all four parties - the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party), secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) - will share ministries.
The government does not consider this scenario to be desirable since it accuses the pro-Kurdish HDP of having links with the outlawed PKK and deputies of the party would be placed in charge of some ministries in the event an interim government is formed.
“They [the HDP] say that they do not have organic ties with the PKK. However, it is obvious that they have ‘inorganic’ ties with the separatist terrorist groups. The intelligence service has proof of this,” said Erdogan on July 17.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as the US and EU.
If the governing AK Party starts initiatives to form a minority government, the nationalist MHP is expected to give its support as it sees the HDP as its “sworn enemy.”
MHP leader Devlet Bahceli previously stated that his party will never participate in a political formation that directly or indirectly includes the HDP, saying “How can we form a government with the political messenger of a terrorist organisation which ruthlessly kills babies, soldiers, police officers and thousands of innocent citizens?"
President Erdogan also stated that throughout Turkey’s political history coalition governments had not been successful.
“Looking at Turkey’s past 20-30 years, you will see that the longest coalition government lasted three-and-a-half years. Before that there are some that lasted 16 months only. If it was thought that a coalition government would be good for Turkey, we would wait for nothing,” Erdogan added.
Coalition initiatives continue
Turkey’s President Erdogan gave a mandate to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a new government on July 9, starting a 45 day period during which coalition negotiations must take place.
Davutoglu conducted three meetings with opposition parties in a first round of coalition negotiations.
After the first round of negotiations talks continued between the AK Party and the CHP, while the MHP underlined that it would stay as an opposition party rather than take a role in a coalition.
On July 30, the CHP announced that they had renounced 11 out of 14 conditions they had put forward in order to form a coalition with the governing AK Party.
In Turkey's tense political atmosphere, an early election is seen as being more probable than a coalition considering the rivalry between the opposition parties may well result in a deadlock in the formation of a government.
If the Turkish parliament fails to establish a new government within 45 days following the elections, an early election becomes inevitable.