As no political party managed to achieve a majority in Sunday’s general election in Turkey, the country is expected to see a period of negotiation to decide the next steps in forming a government.
The Justice and Development (AK) Party led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu came in first in the fourth consecutive general elections to secure the largest number of votes -- 41 percent -- and to claim 258 seats in the Grand National Assembly, 18 short of a simple majority.
The second-placed Republican People’s Party (CHP) saw 132 deputies elected while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) both won 80 seats.
AK Party has 40.8 percent of the votes, Republican People’s Party (CHP) has 25.1 percent of the votes, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has 16.4 percent while HDP gained 13 percent of the votes.
Although the initial count has been completed, the figures still need to be verified by the Supreme Election Council, which could take up to 12 days.
Once the final results are announced, the deputies of the 25th Grand National Assembly must be sworn in within five days.
The process is expected to be completed by June 20.
The next stage sees the new lawmakers select a parliament speaker, the 27th in the history of the Republic of Turkey, by secret ballot.
Given the political makeup of the new assembly, this may not be as straightforward as in the recent past when the AK Party enjoyed a majority.
The first two rounds of voting requires the speaker to gain 367 votes out of 550 deputies. If no candidate achieves this, a third round can be passed by the candidate receiving a simple majority of 276 votes. If there is still no winner, the candidate with the largest number of votes in fourth will be selected.
Following the parliamentary selection, attention turns to forming a government, perhaps the trickiest dilemma facing Turkey’s representatives.
The country faces three options -- a coalition government, a minority government or snap elections under the care of an interim government.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who led the AK Party as prime minister for 11 years, will initially ask the AK Party, as the largest party, to form a government.
If Davutoglu is unable to form a coalition with any of the other three parties -- and none have indicated they would be willing to join the AK Party in government -- tradition dictates the president should offer the second-placed party the chance to create an administration.
If neither the AK Party nor the CHP can form a government within 45 days, the president must call for a fresh election and appoint a prime minister within five days to form an interim government consisting of representatives from all four parties according to their number of deputies.
Once this interim government has been approved by a parliamentary vote of confidence, the assembly will be dissolved and the election process restarted.