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Erdogan formally calls for snap elections


Turkey’s president formally called on Monday for a snap election, a day after a deadline passed for forming a new government following an inconclusive vote in June.

A statement released from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office didn’t say when the new election would be held, but the president has previously said it was likely to take place on November 1.

Erdogan was expected to re-appoint Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form an interim government during a meeting on Tuesday.

The AKP ruling party, which Erdogan founded, lost its parliamentary majority in June for the first time since 2002. Davutoglu’s efforts to form a coalition alliance failed last week, setting the stage for Erdogan to declare repeat elections he is reported to have favored all along.

Erdogan is thought to have pressed for new elections to give the ruling party the chance to win back its majority and rule alone.

Turkey faces new elections as it is grappling with a sharp increase in violence between security forces and Kurdish rebels and is more deeply involved in the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State group extremists. The Turkish lira has dropped to record lows against the dollar amid the political uncertainty.

More than 100 people – mostly soldiers and police – have been killed since July in renewed conflict between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and the security forces, which has wrecked a 2 1/2-year-old peace process with the Kurds.

On Monday, PKK militants detonated a bomb on a road near Semdinli town as a military vehicle was passing, killing two soldiers and injuring three others. Semdinli is near Turkey’s borders with Iraq and Iran.

Two opposition parties have already declared they won’t participate in the interim government, leaving Davutoglu with little choice but to form a government made up of independent figures and politicians from the pro-Kurdish party, who would be taking government posts for the first time in Turkish history.