Ankara, Aug 18 () - Turkey’s public, as well as global markets, have turned their eyes to a meeting between President Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu set to take place later on Aug. 18, with the latter expected to return the mandate to form a government to the head of state.
With just days left until the expiration of a deadline on Aug. 23 to form a government, speculation is growing over whether Erdoğan will give a new mandate to form a government to the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which received the second highest number of votes in the June 7 election, in line with the political customs of the country.
Davutoğlu will return the mandate to form a government to Erdoğan on the evening of Aug. 18, CNNTürk and other media outlets reported, citing remarks by officials from the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Both the CHP and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have already upped the pressure on Davutoğlu to return the mandate after his Aug. 17 meeting with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli failed to produce a coalition, while they also called on Erdoğan to give the mandate to the CHP in order to form a new government.
“It has emerged that Mr. Davutoğlu, who received the mandate, has not been able to form a coalition. He should immediately return the mandate to the president. This is what Turkey’s democratic customs require.”
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told Şükrü Küçükşahin of daily Hürriyet after the Davutoğlu-Bahçeli meeting.
“The president should make a new commissioning” Kılıçdaroğlu said, noting that he believed the 45-day deadline was not in the constitution and thus not “extremely binding.”
“Beyond that, 24 hours is a very long time in politics. Many things can be done and many things can change” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş told reporters on Aug. 18 it had become clear that things will “not fall into place without holding a new election.”
“Mr. Davutoğlu needs to return the mandate as soon as possible. It was he himself who said that no possibility for a coalition was left now” Demirtaş said. “The president should give the mandate to the CHP.”
The HDP would be happy to meet and discuss a possible coalition with the second-biggest party, the CHP, if it is given the mandate, he added.
Erdoğan has made little secret of his preference for single-party rule and hopes that a new election would give the AKP he founded an opportunity to win back its majority.
Under the terms of the constitution, Erdoğan could dissolve Davutoğlu’s caretaker cabinet and call for the formation of an interim “election government” if no deal is reached by Aug. 23. That, however, would mean power being shared between all four