EU: All major political parties' representation in Turkish parliament is important

ANADOLU AGENCY
BRUSSELS
Published 08.06.2015 12:19
Updated 08.06.2015 20:49

The European Union has welcomed the results of Turkey's general election held on Sunday, calling the close to 86 percent voter turnout a "clear sign of strength of the Turkish democracy."

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in a joint statement on Monday: "We now look forward to the swift formation of a new parliament and government, and to working together closely."

"The coming period offers opportunities for further strengthening the EU-Turkey relationship and to advance in broadening EU-Turkey cooperation in all fields, for the benefit of all our citizens," Mogherini and Hahn said in the statement.

Continuing with the same positive tone as Mogherini and Hahn, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, added that he was looking forward to "working with the next government and fortifying EU-Turkey relations". In his written statement, he also highlighted that the outcome of the Turkish General Election is not only an opportunity for the Turkey-EU cooperation but also a great opportunity for peace within the country by moving towards 'dialogue' and ending polarization.

Adding that the 86 percent voter turnout was remarkable, Schulz also pointed out that "The election stand as a proof of the vibrancy and pluralism of the Turkish democracy."

During his visit back in April, Schulz had previously expressed his gratitude to Turkey for - one of its greatest international contributions-welcoming millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Turkey's Justice and Development (AK) Party won its fourth consecutive general election Sunday but was not able to gain the majority needed to form a government.

The party, which came to power in 2002 before winning elections in 2007 and 2011, secured 40.81 percent of the vote with 99.95 percent of ballots counted, giving the party 258 seats in the Grand National Assembly - 18 short of a simple majority.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) passed the 10 percent threshold with 13 percent of the vote to take 79 seats. This is the first time it will enter parliament as a party.

"The fact that all major political parties obtained representation in the new parliament is particularly important," Mogherini and Hahn said.

The second place Republican People's Party (CHP) secured 25.05 percent of vote to take 132 seats while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) gained 16.36 percent to gain 81 seats.

If, within 45 days following Sunday's elections, a new government is unable to be formed because it is not supported by parliament, the president can call for fresh elections.

More than 53.7 million Turks were eligible to vote in polls to elect 550 deputies to the Grand National Assembly on Sunday.

Since 2002, the AK Party has won four general and three local elections, as well as two referenda. Erdoğan, one of the party's founders and former prime minister, won the presidential election in August last year.

The party has overseen an economic boost that almost tripled national income, introduced social reform and initiated what is commonly known as the solution process to seek an end to the Kurdish conflict while weathering criticism over corruption claims in the upper reaches of the party.

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