ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called for fresh parliamentary elections, his office said on Monday, in a widely anticipated move after two months of coalition talks failed to produce a coalition government ahead of a deadline.
Sources from Erdogan’s office said he would meet Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at 11 am (4.00 a.m. EDT) on Tuesday. The president was expected to ask Davutoglu to form a temporary power-sharing government ahead of an election slated for Nov. 1.
“Our president decided to renew the Turkish Grand National Assembly elections based on the authority given to him by the constitution,” the statement from his office said after he met parliamentary speaker Ismet Yilmaz.
The AK Party, founded by Erdogan, lost its majority in a June 7 election for the first time since coming to power in 2002, complicating Erdogan’s ambition of forging a more powerful presidency and plunging Turkey into political uncertainty not seen since the fragile coalition governments of the 1990s.
The AKP will keep its grip on power with the interim government with a cabinet set to be dominated by loyalists. But his hopes of changing the constitution will hinge on a strong AKP majority in parliament in the new vote.
The uncertainty, coming as the NATO member battles Islamic State insurgents on its borders and Kurdish militants at home, has unnerved investors and sent the lira currency to a series of record lows. Many Turks question whether a new election will yield anything other than a similarly inconclusive result.
Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall