ANKARA — Turkey’s ruling Islamist party lost its June 7 parliamentary election, its first parliamentary election lost since it came to power in 2002.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 40.8 percent of the national vote after 98.3 percent of the votes have been counted at 1:00 a.m. local time. That vote earns the AKP about 258 seats, 19 short of simple parliamentary majority of 276 seats in the country’s 550-seat legislature.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party won 25 percent of the vote and 132 seats, the right-wing Nationalistic Movement Party won 16.5 percent and 81 seats, and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) won 13 percent and 79 seats.
The election results substantially weaken the AKP and deprive it of a single-party rule in the new term. The party can sign into a coalition agreement with one of the opposition parties, or opposition parties can try to form a government pushing the AKP into the opposition. In case of failure by any party to form a government, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can call for early elections.
Analysts say the election results definitely put an end to Erdogan’s desires to rewrite the constitution to launch an executive presidential system.
“We expect a minority government and an early election,” a senior AKP official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
HDP’s co-leader Selahattin Demirtas ruled out a coalition with the AKP and said election results have had put an end to talk of the stronger presidential powers. “The discussion of an executive presidency and dictatorship have come to an end in Turkey,” he told a news conference in Istanbul, describing the outcome as a victory “for those who want a pluralist and civil new constitution.”