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Turkish Lawmakers to Seek Coalition After Election Surprise


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets the former leader of the Republican People's Party, Deniz Baykal, at the presidential palace in Ankara, June 10, 2015.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets the former leader of the Republican People's Party, Deniz Baykal, at the presidential palace in Ankara, June 10, 2015.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "is open to'' all possible coalition options for a new government, including a partnership, which would exclude the ruling party that he founded, a senior opposition legislator said Wednesday.

Deniz Baykal, a former leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party, told reporters after a meeting with Erdogan that the president hopes for a quick end to the political uncertainty. As the oldest elected legislator, Baykal is expected to head the new parliament until a new speaker is chosen.

Erdogan's party was hoping for a two-thirds majority in the 550-seat parliament so Ankara's constitution could be rewritten to switch from a parliamentary to presidential democracy - giving him more power. His Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party [AKP] won 41 percent of the vote - down sharply from the nearly 50 percent it won four years ago.

It was a stunning rebuke for Erdogan, who said no party can claim a mandate to form a single-party government.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he will meet with all of the opposition parties that won seats in parliament, including the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party [HDP].

"I will sincerely meet with every opposition party. We have no red lines," he said. "We always said a coalition is not the best option, but if the people make such a choice, what falls on us is to make the best of it."

In an interview with state broadcaster TRT, Davutoglu said Erdogan will not be involved in coalition negotiations.

If coalition talks fail, however, Erdogan could call another parliamentary election.

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