Time up for government, eyes on Erdoğan

Time up for government, eyes on Erdoğan

Time up for government, eyes on Erdoğan

DHA Photo

A 45-day deadline to form a coalition government ended on Aug. 23 without a result, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expected to call a snap election and assign Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to form an interim government. 

On Aug. 21, the president said Turkey would hold new parliamentary elections, probably on Nov. 1.

According to Turkey’s constitution, when the deadline expires without a government, either the president or the parliament may decide to hold new elections. The constitution allows the president to extend the deadline, but Erdoğan said he would not extend the 45-day deadline to form a government.

Turkey has previously witnessed different experiences as former President Süleyman Demirel extended eight more days and assigned then-Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz to form a government. 

Davutoğlu said Aug. 23 that he would make offers for ministerial appointments to those he believes fit the position after he receives a list of figures for party representations from the parliamentary speaker.  

The prime minister told reporters that he did not expect the figures to turn down his offer.      

If any party rejects his proposal, Davutoğlu said he would appoint impartial names for the ministries. 

Davutoğlu also said it was Erdoğan’s decision not to give a mandate to the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader to attempt to form a government before the conclusion of the 45-day period. The prime minister also said his party was working to ease a bylaw in the AKP’s charter that confines deputies to only three terms.

No vote of confidence is needed for an interim government, which will also not present a government program to the parliament. The new cabinet is expected to be ready as soon as possible, perhaps by Victory Day on Aug. 30.

According to the June 7 election results, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) can have 11 ministers; the CHP can have six ministers while the HDP and MHP can have three ministers each. But as the MHP and CHP declared that they would not join the interim government, the prime minister will appoint nine “impartial” ministers. The ministries of justice, transportation and interior will proceed with “impartial” ministers. 

It is not clear if Davutoğlu will commission the HDP for one of the deputy prime ministries, as the prime ministries are natural members of the National Security Council (MGK), at which the prime minister objects to HDP participation due to recent military operations conducted against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Davutoğlu will likely assign the HDP ministries such as forestry and waterworks, culture and tourism and the European Union, which have limited executive powers.

Davutoğlu earlier hinted that he would not ask party leaders to offer names for the cabinet, saying he would rather make direct offers to those he determined. The HDP, despite considering Davutoğlu’s approach as rude and against the constitution, said it would not refuse any cabinet offer. 

Celal Doğan, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Mithat Sancar and Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat are among the HDP members to whom the prime minister may offer ministerial appointments.

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) called on provincial party chairs for an extraordinary meeting ahead of the early elections. The CHP gathered its party assembly on Aug. 23.