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6/8/15

Turkey election: Long on drama, short on clarity - by Lucy Kafanov

Celebrations in this predominantly Kurdish city in the southeast carried into their second day Monday, as supporters of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party reveled in its election to Turkey’s parliament, a historic first.

The elections Sunday also dealt an unprecedented blow to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his bid to consolidate power, but the only thing certain in their aftermath is that Turkey is heading into a period of uncertainty.

“Erdoğan’s ambition to transform Turkey to an executive-style presidential system of government is now over,” says Fadi Hakura, a specialist on Turkish affairs at Chatham House, London. “The silver lining in this election is that voters in Turkey have clearly rejected the creation of a super powerful presidency, but what happens next is not at all clear.”

For the first time since sweeping into power in 2002, Mr. Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority, falling 18 seats short of the 276 needed to govern alone in Ankara’s 550-member parliament. But with all three opposition parties having campaigned against Erdoğan, forming a coalition will be difficult.

If the AKP, with 258 seats, is unable to form a governing alliance within 45 days after official results are confirmed, Turkey could be in for another round of elections.

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