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Turkish PM targets single party government ‘to fight terror’

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday said Turkey needed a single-party government to fight “terror”, as the country prepares for snap November polls against the background of the army’s relentless campaign against Kurdish militants.

Davutoglu sought to stir the faithful at the congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara with a rousing speech presenting the AKP as the natural party of power after it lost its overall majority for the first time in June 7 elections.

Former foreign minister Davutoglu, who became premier when Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected president in August 2014, is under huge pressure to restore the majority and rumours even circulated he could have faced a leadership challenge at the congress.

“A single-party government needs to be ensured to fight both the terror plague and economic challenges,” said Davutoglu.

The AKP won three decisive general election victories in 2002, 2007 and 2011 but in the June election the party lost its overall majority for the first time since coming to power in 2002.

The result wrecked Erdogan’s dreams of a powerful presidency with full executive powers, as a pro-Kurdish party made a major breakthrough to secure seats in the parliament.

Erdogan did not attend the congress but his two increasingly high-profile daughters — Esra and Sumeyye — sat in the front row.

“We are heading towards November 1 elections on behalf of a permanent government, sustainable development and rights and freedom for everyone,” said Davutoglu.

After the June elections, Davutoglu held inconclusive talks with opposition parties to form a coalition government — an unpalatable alternative for the president.

Amid the political uncertainty, the government has waged a self-declared “war on terror” against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeast and in northern Iraq.

Davutoglu’s speech was frequently interrupted by party supporters shouting slogans such as: “Martyrs never die, the homeland is indivisible.”

No music was allowed at the congress in respect for the dozens of Turkish security forces killed in the unrest, party officials said.

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Posted By Bobricky On 08:33 Sat, 12 Sep 2015

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