ANKARA (Reuters) - Opposition parties should form Turkey's next government after the ruling AK Party failed to secure a majority, the head of the main opposition said on Monday, as the AKP remained in talks to find a coalition partner.
President Tayyip Erdogan has said he plans to grant the mandate to form a government to the AKP after it won 40.9 percent of the June 7 vote. But the party, which lost votes to both pro-Kurdish and nationalist opposition parties, would need to find a junior partner to form a government with a parliamentary majority.
"The principal duty to form a government falls to the 60 percent (opposition) block," Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu told a news conference.
Kilicgaroglu said it was "unacceptable" for Erdogan to be a primary political actor while coalition talks were underway and he must stay within the boundaries set by the constitution.
As president, Erdogan is supposed to stay above party politics. However, his frequent speeches at rallies ahead of the June 7 polls drew criticism that he was stumping for the AKP he founded.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the AKP will exhaust all options to form a government before considering an early election. Erdogan said at the weekend a snap election would be "inevitable" if the AKP and opposition fail to form a government within a 45-day constitutional limit.
The right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has been seen as a strong potential partner, but its supporters are fiercely opposed to a peace process with Kurdish militants which Erdogan and Davutoglu have said will remain a priority.
An opposition coalition also seems unlikely, given the ideological differences between the nationalists, the leftist Kurds and the secular CHP.
The latest survey from Turkish pollster MAK showed on Monday that the AKP would regain its parliamentary majority with 44 percent support if a snap election were to be held.
(Reporting by Gulsen Solaker and Ercan Gurses; Writing by Daren Butler; editing by David Dolan and Janet Lawrence)