Incoming Turkish PM says new cabinet to be ready soon
ANKARAA new list of cabinet positions will be prepared quickly and presented to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, new Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters in Ankara on May 23.
“Why would it drag on?” Yıldırım said, when reminded of comments suggesting that the process for forming the new government might last longer than expected, as Erdoğan is busy hosting a big international summit in Istanbul on humanitarian aid and global responses to political crises.
“The cabinet list is being prepared … The timeline is very clear. It will not be the first time that a government has been formed in Turkey,” Yıldırım said.
Asked whether he would present the new cabinet list to Erdoğan late on May 24, when he returns to Ankara from Istanbul upon the closure of the World Humanitarian Summit, the incoming prime minister said he would submit it “whenever our president is available.”
“As you know, a very important summit is being convened in Turkey and the host of this summit is our president. Since this [government forming process] coincides with this program, God willing we will conduct our work and consultations after the summit program is over,” Yıldırım said.
“Don’t worry, God willing it will be solved soon,” he added.
Erdoğan confirmed Yıldırım, a close ally for two decades and a co-founder of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), of which the president is the founding leader, as his new prime minister on May 22, taking a big step toward the stronger presidential powers he has long sought.
Yıldırım, for the first time, chaired on May 23 a meeting of the ruling party’s highest decision-making body, the 50-seat Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), 26 members of which were replaced in the May 22 extraordinary convention of the party. The MKYK meeting lasted for three hours. New members of the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) were expected to be announced following the meeting, yet no statement had been released in the evening as the Hürriyet Daily News went to print.
The MKYK will ultimately select members of the MYK. The reshuffle in the MKYK has been widely considered as a sign of a substantial reshuffle in the cabinet and party management. Likewise, the MYK’s composition is also expected to be a crystal-clear reflection of the party’s founding leader, Erdoğan, to keep the party under his control.
Erdoğan and his supporters see an executive presidency – a Turkish take on the system in the United States or France – as a guarantee against the sort of fractious coalition politics that hampered Turkey’s development in the 1990s, when it was an economic backwater with little clout on the world stage.
Earlier this month, sources told daily Hürriyet that the AKP had been preparing to present a “mini constitutional package” to parliament which would enable Turkish presidents to be members of political parties, a move that is reportedly aimed at accelerating the process of a constitutional change toward a presidential system in the country.
The package will reportedly consist of a maximum of five articles concentrated on the “partisan president” model.