CHP urges gov’t to start coalition talks

CHP urges gov’t to start coalition talks

CHP urges gov’t to start coalition talks

CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Levent Gök. Cihan Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has failed to give any party a mandate to attempt to form a coalition government, one month after general elections, while the newly elected parliamentary speaker’s office has also been stalling the coalition talks, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has argued.

The current provisional government, which is supposed to undertake formal operations until the new government takes office, has been acting as if it is still the same government as it was before the June 7 elections, CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Levent Gök said at a press conference on July 6.

The establishment of the newly elected assembly’s bureau has been delayed and the Board of Spokespersons has still not been called for a meeting, Gök said.

Even though the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority, it is still trying to run parliament as it did before in an attempt to create a fait accompli, he said, maintaining that such a conduct of affairs was legally inappropriate and a violation of the constitution.

In response to a question, Gök said, “The president is in a quest to call [snap] elections without having the AKP, that is, the incumbent government, handing over the baton.”

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his cabinet resigned on June 9 in line with a post-election procedure. The president approved the resignations and requested that the cabinet continue its duties until a new government is formed.

The AKP’s İsmet Yılmaz was elected as the new parliamentary speaker on July 1. The countdown for the formation of the new government can begin only after the assembly establishes its bureau, which will consist of 15 deputies: the speaker, four vice-speakers, seven secretaries and three other officials. All four political parties will be represented in the bureau according to the proportionate number of seats they hold in the legislature.

Only after the establishment of the bureau is Erdoğan is expected to invite AKP leader Davutoğlu to attempt to form a government. Then, a 45-day period to form the government will be launched.

It is the parliamentary speaker who needs to display the will to form the bureau at once, Gök said.

“I am calling on Mr. Parliamentary Speaker; immediately ensure the establishment of the bureau and commissions,” he added.

The deputy parliamentary group chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Pervin Buldan, also joined the CHP in criticizing Yılmaz.

“It is obvious that the AKP’s parliamentary speaker will not be able to run an impartial conduct of parliament here without getting instructions from the AKP, without having approval from the prime minister and the president and regardless of political debates outside,” Buldan said at a press conference held later in the day, underlining that the Board of Spokespersons still had not gathered even though Yılmaz was elected a week ago.

Reports said the delay in the process stemmed from having the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ), scheduled for early August, held with the attendance of the incumbent AKP government.

“The legality of YAŞ meetings would also be controversial in the event of the participation of a government which is not legally authorized to make appointments at state offices,” Gök said.

Time pressure

At their July 7 meeting of the Board of Spokespersons, all four parties’ approval is required to make of a decision. 

In the event of one party’s objection, the issue will be carried to a plenary session on July 9. The crisis will be solved by the votes of deputies according to the alliances that are made by the parties among them.

In that case, Yılmaz can call on the parties to report the names of their candidates for the bureau. As such, it will only be possible to form the bureau at July 14’s plenary session, meaning Erdoğan could provide the mandate next week. 

However, even if the bureau is established this week, there is speculation a visit by Davutoğlu to Sarajevo already scheduled for July 9 and 10 may delay Erdoğan’s decision to provide the mandate.

As early as June 22, sources from the Prime Ministry said Davutoğlu would visit Bosnia and Herzegovina to attend memorial ceremonies marking the 20th anniversary of the massacre in Srebrenica, in which Bosnian Serbs killed nearly 8,000 Muslims during the 1992-95 war.

If Erdoğan commissions Davutoğlu to form a government this week, the coalition talks will probably continue until Aug. 24. If Erdoğan gives the mandate next week, then the talks will continue until Aug. 28 or 29.