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Turkey's Erdogan expected to call new elections

AP , Monday 24 Aug 2015
Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Reuters)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was expected on Monday to formally call new elections for Nov. 1 and re-appoint Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form an interim administration, a day after the deadline passed for establishing a government following Turkey's inconclusive election in June.

The Islamic-rooted ruling party, which Erdogan founded, lost its parliamentary majority in June for the first time since 2002. Davutoglu's efforts to form a coalition alliance failed last week, setting the stage for Erdogan to declare repeat elections he is reported to have favored all along.

Erdogan is thought to have pressed for new elections to give the ruling party the chance to win back its majority and rule alone.

Turkey faces new elections as it is grappling with a sharp increase in violence between security forces and Kurdish rebels and is more deeply involved in the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State group extremists. The Turkish lira has dropped to record lows against the dollar amid the political uncertainty.

More than a hundred people — mostly soldiers and police — have been killed since July in renewed conflict between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and the security forces, which has wrecked a 2 1/2-year-old peace process with the Kurds.

On Monday, PKK militants detonated a bomb on a road near Semdili town as a military vehicle was passing, killing two soldiers and injuring three others. Semdinli is near Turkey's borders with Iraq and Iran.

Two opposition parties have already declared they will not participate in the interim government, leaving Davutoglu with little choice but to form a government made up of independent figures and politicians from the pro-Kurdish party, who would be taking government posts for the first time in Turkish history.

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