Parliament opens today for the first time after the elections and once the newly elected deputies take their oaths according to the Constitution the political scene will be back in business. The first task of Parliament will be to elect a speaker while the president asks the party with the most seats in Parliament, which in this case is the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) led by Ahmet Davutoğlu, to form the new government. Davutoğlu then has 45 days to form a coalition as he does not have the 276 seats required to form a majority government. Until now a series of formulas have been discussed in political circles that were either farfetched or impossible to achieve. Commentators have talked about a coalition between the three former opposition parties the left-wing Republican People's Party (CHP), the conservative Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP). The HDP has closed its doors to all coalitions and has decided to remain in the opposition. The CHP wants a coalition with the MHP and CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has even offered MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli the prime ministry, but that formula was also rejected as it would be a minority government that "maybe" would be supported by the HDP.
So, after long talks everyone agreed that the only viable solution would be a coalition between the AK Party and either the CHP or MHP. An AK Party coalition with the CHP seemed the most plausible partnership that would be beneficial to the country at first as it would bring together the antagonists and forge a coalition that would in fact be a national reconciliation government where the left-wing and the conservatives come together in a grand partnership. However, while some sort of formula could be cooked up between the AK Party and CHP leaders, it became apparent that the CHP rank and file was in no mood for a partnership with the AK Party. They rigidly demand that the former AK Party ministers be brought to justice over corruption allegations and that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should be brought down to size, in effect incapacitating him despite the fact that he is an elected head of state.
So at the end of the day what is left is a coalition between the AK Party and MHP. The rank and file of the MHP is very similar to that of the AK Party and there would be no enmity between them. On the contrary, they would act in harmony and make use of the benefits of being in power together. However, the main sticking point is the rigid attitude of the MHP leadership. It feels that a coalition will hurt the MHP and in the next elections it may even lose a chunk of its seats like it did in 2002 after their coalition partnership. Besides that, the MHP wants an end to the reconciliation process with the Kurds, which they say is a charade that only serves to divide the country. The MHP also wants the former AK Party ministers accused of corruption brought to justice, but observers say a formula can be devised. On Erdoğan, the MHP also wants Erdoğan to be brought down to size and it is clear that if it joins a Cabinet its ministers will be against cooperating with the president.
So while an AK Party-MHP coalition seems the most viable and probable solution, it is also clear that it, too, will be an uphill process that may or may not be successful. If not, the other alternative seems to be early elections.