AKP conducts in-house survey to select new leader
AA photoWith only six days to go before Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds an extraordinary congress, party executives say they have been conducting a two-day intra-party survey to identify the top candidate to become the new leader.
Executive-level party organization members, provincial chairs, provincial mayors, provincial general councils and deputy mayors in metropolitan cities, attended the AKP headquarters for the first leg of the survey yesterday, Mustafa Ataş, the AKP’s deputy chair in charge of party organization, told state-run Anadolu Agency.
A total of 813 AKP executives are participating in the survey, Ataş said, adding that the process started yesterday at a meeting at 2 p.m. The first meeting brought together the heads of the AKP’s provincial organizations and mayors and was followed by another with the participation of members of the party’s Founding Committee, the Central Decision-Making Committee, the Disciplinary Board and other relevant bodies.
Following the first phase of the surveys, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım was said to be the favorite for the PM’s position.
“We will announce our candidate for the chairmanship on either Thursday or Friday
after assessing the surveys,” he added.
“We are taking the pulse through a platform that will represent all the bodies of the party, including its highest decision-making committees, lawmakers, founders as well as our youth and women branches. We place importance on the fact that this new leader will be someone our organization will welcome,” Ataş also said.
It is still not yet clear who will officially announce the name of the party’s favored leadership candidate. Ataş said that in the event that outgoing leader Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu did not do so, the job will be given to his deputy responsible for political affairs, Mehmet Ali Şahin, or another deputy leader of the party.
Davutoğlu was elected as AKP chairman in late August 2014 after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected as president. Among the candidates to be his successor as prime minister are Yıldırım, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş.