Turkish PM, facing uphill election battle, invites Opp to cabinet


Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu invited high profile opposition figures to join an interim cabinet on Wednesday, two months before a snap election at which his ruling AK Party may not recover its parliamentary majority.

The main opposition CHP and nationalist MHP had said they would not join the temporary government, but by reaching out to respected figures among their ranks, Davutoglu appeared to be trying to show he was serious about sharing power.

Sources in his office said he had asked five members of the main opposition CHP and three each from the nationalist MHP and pro-Kurdish HDP on Wednesday to join the government, which will lead Turkey to a new election on Nov. 1. One MHP lawmaker, Tugrul Turkes, accepted Davutoglu’s invitation, a source at the prime minister’s office told Reuters.

The opposition nominees – invited, in line with the constitution, according to the proportion of seats their parties hold in parliament – have until 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Thursday to give their answer, the sources said.

The HDP has said it is willing to join although its presence would anger nationalists in the AKP and possibly cost it votes.

Any seats not taken up by opposition parties will be given to independent candidates from outside parliament, although critics say these are likely to be ruling party loyalists.

“The new cabinet will be ready by Saturday,” one of the sources in the prime minister’s office said, adding that nominees from the AKP would be invited once the opposition candidates had given their response.

Davutoglu was appointed by President Tayyip Erdogan to form the interim cabinet on Tuesday after two months of coalition talks failed to produce a working government. The ruling AK Party, founded by Erdogan, lost its majority in a June 7 election for the first time since coming to power in 2002.