ISTANBUL: In a widely anticipated move, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a fresh parliamentary election late Monday, after two months of coalition talks failed to produce a coalition government ahead of a deadline.
The former prime minister and founder of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had already hinted that he wanted fresh polls rather than enter a power-sharing coalition with a second or third party.
While Monday’s presidential statement didn’t say when the new election would be held, Erdogan had previously said the election should be held November 1.
This follows a June 7 ballot when Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AKP received the largest share of the vote, but lost its overall majority in parliament for the first time since it first came to power in 2002.
Much of AKP’s ground was lost to a pro-Kurdish party that won a record share of the vote in Turkey’s predominantely Kurdish southeast.