The way to a new election appears complicated

It is now almost certain that a coalition government between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) is impossible.
CHP leader Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu has admitted publicly that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clearly prefers a new election, hoping that the AKP will win back an absolute majority even though acting Prime Minister and AKP leader Ahmet Davutoilu would like to form a coalition that would allow him to escape the supervision of Erdogan. Since Erdogan continues to de facto lead the AKP, the preferences of Davutoilu do not matter. Thus, we should talk about the complicated organization of a new election rather than artificial coalition negotiations. Indeed, this organization is not straightforward. If by Aug. 25 a government is not in place, the Constitution requires the announcement of a new election by the president and the formation of an and”electoral governmentand” in which every party represented in Parliament will participate in proportion to their number of deputies. However, this is not convenient for either the AKP or the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). An electoral campaign under the management of a government in which the Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) will have ministers is unthinkable for the AKP government, who considers the HDP to be linked to the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK), against whom a war is being waged. Furthermore, the large number of opposition deputies in the electoral government would deprive the AKP of the use of public resources during its election campaigning. Obviously, this would diminish the chances of the AKP winning back the absolute majority. However, there is an alternative method of organizing a new election. If the AKP is able to form a minority government before Aug. 25 while providing a firm date for an early election, it may indeed avoid the nightmare of an electoral government. The AKP would prefer of course to form a minority AKP government for six months at least in order to have enough time to convince the voters it lost on June 7. Recent electoral surveys suggest the AKP has little chance at the moment of receiving the extra 3 percentage points in order to reach the critical 44 percent needed for an absolute majority in Parliament. Since the CHP and the HDP are firmly opposed to a minority government, the AKP needs to convince the MHP. How can this be possible? The AKP is hoping the MHP would be against the option of an electoral government as the MHP finds it unacceptable and unthinkable to be in a government with the HDP. Thus, the MHP would instead prefer the formation of an AKP minority government. Nonetheless, MHP leader Devlet Bahandceli reacted quickly to this hope by declaring that his party will not be participating in an electoral government since it is free to choose. Indeed, Article 114 of the Constitution stipulates that if a party refuses to participate in an electoral government, its quota must be filled with members of the parties participating in it. In other words, Bahandceli told Erdogan the MHP cannot be pushed to support an AKP minority government since the Constitution does not force any party to participate in an electoral government if it does not want to. No doubt, Bahandceli is trying to squeeze Erdogan into a corner by pushing him to a dilemma: either form an electoral government in which he will be forced to nominate some HDP deputies and, at the same time, which he will be unable to control during the electoral campaign or be forced to agree to the conditions of the MHP for the formation of an AKP minority government. I think the MHPand’s first choice is an electoral government that would trouble AKP completely. Nevertheless, it risks being accused by the AKP of being responsible for the presence of HDP deputies in government, even for few months. On the other hand, we do not yet know the conditions that the MHP might lay down to accept an AKP minority government. It is very likely the MHP will not give the AKP the opportunity to have a lot of time to organize an early election. The MHP may also demand some guarantees of Erdogan not interfering in election campaigns. In any case, there is not much time left for both the AKP and the MHP to decide the best way to organize a new election.