Ankara, July 9 () - President Tayyip Erdoğan has finally commissioned Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and incumbent Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to form a new government, thus setting the clock ticking on a 45-day period to succeed or face a new election.
“Inshallah [God willing], I plan to hold the first round of talks next week, before Eid al-Fitr” Davutoğlu told a meeting of his AKP’s parliamentary group, hours before he was given the mandate by Erdoğan on Thursday.
The three-day Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr begins at the end of Ramadan, on July 17.
“Our method will also be clear and sharp within this calendar. We will not hide anything from the public, we will hold meetings transparently and we will be constructive” Davutoğlu said.
“We will do our best for a government partnership that operates healthily and well. If we approach in a way that is open-hearted and transparent, that understands each other and shows empathy toward each other, in the end, we can agree on a formula which will not leave Turkey without government” he said.
The AKP leader also dismissed claims that Erdoğan deliberately delayed the process.
“The AK Parti is not responsible for the delay in forming [the parliament speaker’s] bureau” he said, referring to a procedure that needed to be completed so that Erdoğan would give the mandate.
“If it is delayed, our president is not responsible for the delay either. He hasn’t deliberately exerted an effort to push it back” Davutoğlu said.
Later during the group meeting, the AKP designated their candidates for the bureau and report their names to parliament. On July 8, the other three parties, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), had reported the names of their candidates to parliament.
The bureau was officially formed after the names of the members were read out at a plenary session at an afternoon session later on July 9, shortly before Erdoğan hosted Davutoğlu at a “State Day” meeting regularly held every Thursday, during which the mandate was eventually given.
Previously, Davutoğlu said he would conduct coalition negotiations in two rounds. In the first round, he will listen to the leaders of other parties and designate points of conciliation.
Following consultations with his party, he is expected to hold a second round with parties with whom he believes he can cooperate.
In such a case, the framing of a possible coalition may be delayed until after Eid al-Fitr which will end on July 19.
There has been speculation that the country could return to the polls if Davutoğlu fails to form a government, although the prospect would be unprecedented. If an early election is called, however, it would likely be held on Nov. 22, around 90 days after the provision of the mandate to form a government.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) has the legal authority to schedule the date of the election at an earlier time.