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AK Party ministers hint at coalition, not snap election

Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus says early elections are very unlikely

AK Party ministers hint at coalition, not snap election


Two high-profile members of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party have suggested that a coalition government was the more likely scenario rather than the organizing of new elections.

In power since 2002, the AK Party secured 40.86 percent of the vote in Sunday's parliamentary elections, according to unofficial results, giving the party 258 seats in the country's Grand National Assembly - 18 short of a simple majority.

Deputy Prime Ministers Bulent Arinc and Numan Kurtulmus spoke on Monday in capital Ankara ahead of a crucial board meeting of the AK Party, to analyze Sunday's results after the party won its fourth consecutive general election.

Arinc said his party was the winner of Sunday's elections, claiming that the “success” of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was the result of efforts by other opposition groups to “overthrow” the AK Party.

"HDP was a project," he said claiming many supporters of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voted for HDP just to stop AK Party from having the majority in the parliament again. 

He also criticized Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for not speaking against HDP during the election campaigns. 

The HDP passed the 10 percent threshold with 13.12 percent of the vote to claim 80 seats. It is first time it enters parliament as a party.

Arinc invited the CHP, the MHP, and the HDP to try and form a governing coalition “if they can”. "If not, AK Party is ready to do its part," he stressed. 

Turkey could face fresh elections if no government emerges within 45 days.

Pointing to the results of the other parties, Arinc said the CHP was not successful at all since the party "could not increase its votes and could not get votes from all across the country."

In the 2011 general elections, the CHP received 26 percent of the votes. It had 24.96 on Sunday. Arinc noted a contradiction between the CHP's decreasing votes and their being "quite happy about the results."

Deputy Prime Minister Kurtulmus also said a coalition seemed the best option and that early elections were very unlikely.

Kurtulmus praised the country's healthy practice of a democratic process on Sunday, and said a coalition would come out from "this advanced democracy."

"The people have chosen AK Party again. Yes, they have not given us the power to be a ruling party, but they showed that they mostly agree with the policies of the AK Party. The message is: Go on [governing] with some modifications."

AK Party leader and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as well as the party's central executive board, are meeting with the cabinet in Ankara.

"We will discuss the election results comprehensively, and evaluate the voters' message in the most correct way," Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said.

Akdogan thanked all citizens for "making AK Party the winner again."

He said the AK Party was the only safeguard of security stability in Turkey, namely of what is known as the solution process, which the government initiated to seek an end to the Kurdish conflict. 

Before the meeting, the Turkish minister of labor and social security, Faruk Celik said, "The most important message of the new term is dialogue. The people instruct a need for dialogue among the parties."

The minister of foreign affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu remarked, "All parties should get the message from the people. Everyone should act in a responsible way. AK Party always acted like that and we [AK Party] heard the message."

"All parties will take lessons from the results of the elections and the message will be received. Of course AK Party will also have this message," added the minister of energy and natural resources, Taner Yildiz.

Mehmet Simsek, the finance minister, expressed doubt with regards to the formation of a coalition government, saying it was not as powerful and prone to reforms as a single-party government.

The turnout  in Sunday’s elections was 86.63 percent.

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