Turkey's Erdogan calls snap polls

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Turkeys Erdogan calls snap polls
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ankara - It said Erdogan was exercising his rightful powers to call the polls after no coalition was formed within a 45-day deadline.

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Published: Tue 25 Aug 2015, 10:52 AM

Last updated: Tue 25 Aug 2015, 12:54 PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called snap elections in an unprecedented move to break weeks of political stalemate after June's inconclusive legislative polls.
A presidential statement released after a meeting between Erdogan and parliament speaker Ismet Yilmaz gave no date for the elections but the president had previously said he expected the polls to be held on November 1.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), co-founded by Erdogan, lost its overall majority in the 550-seat parliament in the June 7 polls for the first time since it came to power in 2002, forcing the party to seek a coalition partner.
But the AKP's coalition talks with opposition parties failed to produce a government, an outcome critics say the combative Erdogan sought all along.
"In line with the constitution, Mr President has decided that the Turkish parliament will undergo renewed elections," the presidency said in a statement.
It said Erdogan was exercising his rightful powers to call the polls after no coalition was formed within a 45-day deadline.
Erdogan is to meet Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday to discuss arrangements for an interim caretaker government to rule Turkey up to the polls, the official Anatolia news agency said.
This is the first time in the history of modern Turkey that parties have failed to form a coalition after elections and repeat polls have been called.
Erdogan wants the AKP to win back an overall majority and govern alone.
He is also seeking to fulfill his dream of a revamped presidency with boosted executive powers, which will require a majority of at least three fifths.
The president indicated in recent weeks that he was not in favour of coalition governments, but dismissed criticism that he had impeded the coalition negotiations.
Under Turkey's constitution, Erdogan was obliged to give the second-placed Republican People's Party (CHP) a mandate to lead coalition talks.
But he refused to do so because the CHP's leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu refuses to set foot in Erdogan's controversial new presidential palace.
The opposition has accused Erdogan of violating the constitution, with Kilicdaroglu blasting the president for seeking to stage a "civilian coup".
The opposition CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have refused to take part in a short-term election government.

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