Breaking his silence for the first time since the general election, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the political parties should form a government as soon as possible.
“Everyone should put aside their egos and form a government as soon as possible,” Erdogan said in a speech to students in the capital of Ankara.
“This is our biggest responsibility toward our 78 million people. No politician has the right to say ‘I’, we have to say ‘We’,” he said.
The election result was a setback for Erdogan, who had hoped to use a strong result to alter the country’s constitution to provide the presidency with greater powers.
Erdogan, who co-founded the Justice and Development Party, AKP in Turkish, a decade ago and campaigned vigorously for the party in the lead up to the election, said the election results show that no party will be able to govern Turkey alone.
“I believe the results, which do not give the opportunity to any party to form a single-party government, will be assessed healthily and realistically by every party,” Erdogan said after the election on June 7.
AKP won nearly 41 percent of the vote, or around 258 seats, according to the results. The main opposition party, CHP won nearly 25 percent of the vote, approximately 132 seats. Compared to the results, both parties lost seats from the last election in 2011.
The nationalist MHP party gained seats, winning 16 percent of the vote and 80 seats. However, the biggest surprise of the night came from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, which crossed the election threshold of 10 percent for the first time, promoting celebrations in the mainly Kurdish southeastern part of the country. It secured over 13 percent of the vote and is expected to enter parliament with around 80 seats.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu now has 45 days to find a coalition partner to enter government with, something the opposition parties have not expressed interest in doing. If one is not formed, AKP can opt to govern as minority or Erdogan may call for early elections.
While Erdogan seemed to strike a conciliatory tone with his remarks on Thursday, Davutoglu said that coalitions are not suitable for Turkey, something that will add to the political uncertainty in the coming days.
“We’ve used the coalition eras of the 1970s and 1990s as an example to show that coalitions are not suitable for Turkey and we still stand by that stance,” Davutoglu said.
But he left open the idea, saying that with the current situation, “we’re open to any scenarios.”