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Turkey’s ruling party just lost its majority in parliament

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Supporters of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) celebrate in the streets of Diyarbakir following the results of the Turkish legislative elections on June 7, 2015.Photograph by Bulent Kilic — AFP/Getty Images

After 13 years in power, Turkey’s ruling party lost its parliamentary majority in national elections on Sunday, a strong symbol of voter disapproval of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his efforts to consolidate power.

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won by far the most seats in parliament, according to preliminary results reported on Sunday by state-run Anadolu news agency. But it couldn’t secure a majority, falling short by 18 seats in Ankara’s 550-member legislative body.

The result is a setback for Erdogan, the former prime minister who has worked to rewrite his country’s constitution to resemble that of the United States, and a success for the Kurds and liberals who disliked his policies.

It’s also a sign that Turkey could be run by a coalition government—the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, known as HDP, may surpass the 10 percent threshold needed to secure representation in parliament for the first time.

The possibility of a power struggle between president and parliament in Turkey is real and a potential threat to the stability of an $800 billion economy that has in recent years faced headwinds. Turkey’s currency, the lira, is considered one of the world’s worst performing major currencies; further political instability could cause an even bigger slide.