AKP's election list ‘stamped by Erdoğan, marked by Davutoğlu’
Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARA
Ankara politics is heavily focused on the composition of the next government, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (above) regarded as the strongest candidate to succeed President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA PhotoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threw his weight around in the drawing up of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate list for the June 7 general elections, though Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has also put his own mark on it.
With the list, which was submitted to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) on April 7, Erdoğan clearly showed that he is still the “natural leader” of the party, while the list also indicates that Davutoğlu will be the party’s indisputable “second man.”
Daily Hürriyet has examined all the names in the AKP’s lists of candidates for all 81 provinces across Turkey and drawn the following conclusions:
A MEASURE AGAINST THE HDP
BACK TO ‘NATIONAL VIEW’
Those who serve for three terms as AKP members of parliament become ineligible to be nominated again due to internal party rules. Of the remainder, however, 105 AKP deputies have still not been nominated, while 137 have been nominated as a result of Erdoğan’s pressure. The president’s son-in-law and all of his closest aides are highly likely become AKP deputies in the next parliament and some may become cabinet ministers, where they would be expected to work hard to switch Turkey’s parliamentary system to a presidential one. As a result, these names have been described as “Erdoğan’s inner cabinet” and the AKP list has been dubbed “the presidency list.”
DAVUTOĞLU PAVES HIS WAY
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Davutoğlu has left out almost all figures linked to AKP heavyweights like Abdullah Gül, Binali Yıldırım, Numan Kurtulmuş, Beşir Atalay and Bülent Arınç. These names were considered to be contenders for the seat of the party chair after Erdoğan left. As one party member told daily Hürriyet: “Tayyip Erdoğan is always the natural leader of the party and there is only one ‘second man.’ Whoever you ask in the future parliamentary group of the party, you will hear that the second name is Hodja,” referring to the respectful nickname of Davutoğlu, a former academic.
KEY FIGURE SOYLU IS BACK
Süleyman Soylu, the AKP’s deputy chair in charge of party organization, has not been getting along with Davutoğlu in recent months. However, the AKP’s list shows that Soylu has regained the trust of both Erdoğan and Davutoğlu, so we should get ready to hear his name more frequently.
OLD ALLIES HEADING TO THE EXITS