Turkey's Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday raised the prospect of a snap election if coalition talks fail after his ruling AK Party fell short of a majority in a June 7 parliamentary poll.

Erdogan is expected next week to mandate Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the AK Party leader, to form a coalition government but it remains unclear whether he will be able to build enough support for a stable parliamentary majority.

"The formation of a coalition with a majority in parliament is my desire," he told a gathering of supporters.

"(But) if a government cannot be formed ... our people will provide the solution again. If the parliament cannot solve it, it is our people who will. Nobody should hesitate to go back to the people," he said, citing "serious issues" facing Turkey.

Party officials have privately said Erdogan may see a snap election as the best way for the AK Party to regain its majority and push constitutional changes he favours that would introduce a strong executive presidency in Turkey.

Some political analysts say the early election option looks unlikely, however, after an opinion poll last week showed voters would be unwilling to change their vote.

While a coalition with the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would make sense ideologically, AKP officials say their top brass is leaning toward an alliance with the centre-left CHP.

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Thursday a coalition that best serves Turkey's economy should be the priority in the coalition talks.