Erdogan doesn't rule out coalition | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 22, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, June 22, 2018


Erdogan doesn't rule out coalition

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his ruling AK Party could seek to form a coalition if it fails to secure a parliamentary majority in Sunday's elections, a prospect which has unsettled investors who fear it could lead to political deadlock.

Polls indicate elections may be closer than anticipated when Erdogan called the snap elections in April, suggesting he may be pushed to a second-round run-off for the presidency, and his AKP could lose its majority in the 600-seat assembly.

While investors have been spooked by what they see as Erdogan's growing authoritarianism, the prospect of political deadlock is also seen as a negative, as it causes uncertainty, making it difficult to gauge the investment outlook.

"If it is under 300 (seats), then there could be a search for a coalition," Erdogan said in an interview with the Kral FM radio station late on Wednesday.

He added that the probability of this was "very, very low".

Erdogan has long argued that a stronger presidential system -- due to go into effect after the election -- is a guarantee against the fractious coalition politics that hampered the Turkish government in the 1990s.

The lira dipped 0.6 percent to 4.76 against the dollar by 1000 GMT. The currency has slumped more than 20 percent this year, and has been hit this week by concern about potential political uncertainty.

A compromise would be sought if the opposition obtains a majority, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, the minister charged with oversight of the economy, said.

The AKP formed an alliance with the nationalist MHP before the elections. The ruling party has held a majority in parliament for nearly all of its almost 16 years in power, only losing it in the June 2015 election. But parties failed to form a coalition then and Erdogan called a fresh election in November, restoring the AKP majority.

The leader of the nationalist MHP said on Monday another election could be held if his alliance with the AKP could not form a majority in parliament after Sunday's vote.

Opposition parties also formed an alliance, which excluded the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). If the pro-Kurdish party exceeds the 10 percent threshold of votes needed to enter parliament, it will be harder for the AKP to achieve a majority.

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