August 18, 2015 / 6:43 PM / 2 years ago

Turkish PM returns mandate to form government to President Erdogan

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a news conference at his ruling AK Party (AKP) headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, August 13, 2015.Stringer

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu officially returned the mandate to form a government to President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, the presidency said in a statement, after failing to find a junior coalition partner for his AK Party.

The move, widely expected after coalition talks between the AKP and the nationalist MHP broke down on Monday, could now lead Erdogan to give the mandate to parliament's second-largest party, the secular CHP, although it, too, is seen as being unable to form a government.

If no government is formed by Aug. 23, Erdogan must dissolve Davutoglu's caretaker administration and call on an interim power-sharing government to lead Turkey to a new election in the autumn.

Reporting by Ercan Gurses; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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