Ümit Çetin - Hürriyet / Ankara, Aug 19 () - President Tayyip Erdoğan has reportedly signaled he has no intention of giving a mandate to form a new government to the Republican People’s Party (CHP), indicating instead his willingness to form a short-tenure government that would carry the country to early elections.
Erdoğan revealed his view of the new state of affairs during a luncheon he hosted for a group of academics and opinion leaders on Aug. 18, a few hours before Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu returned the mandate to form the next government after possible coalition talks with the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) collapsed.
Erdoğan raised the issue of coalition talks and said he favored forming a two-month interim “election cabinet.”
Some of the guests, speaking to reporters following the luncheon, said they perceived his remark as a signal that he was not planning to give the mandate to CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to form the next government.
“Mr. President has listed the options in front of him and said one of those options was not giving the mandate to Kılıçdaroğlu. He mentioned this as one of the options that he has been considering,” a source from the president’s office told daily Hürriyet.
Last week, just a few days before talks between Davutoğlu and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli failed on Aug. 17, Erdoğan was reminded by journalists on Aug. 14 of his earlier remarks suggesting that he might give the mandate to Kılıçdaroğlu and asked whether “he was still at the same point.”
“Conditions have changed a lot. Let’s see the final point and then decide,” Erdoğan said.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Davutoğlu and founded by Erdoğan, lost its parliamentary majority in the June 7 election.
Erdoğan could theoretically now hand the mandate to form the next government to the CHP, Turkey’s second biggest party, although it is also highly unlikely that it will be able to agree to a coalition before an Aug. 23 deadline.