AKP set for major overhaul in party’s decision body and candidate list for Nov 1
Turan Yılmaz - ANKARA
REUTERS photoThe Justice and Development Party (AKP) is busy working on its upcoming congress during which its highest decision-making body, the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), is expected to be overhauled. The party is also in the process of drafting its candidate list for the Nov. 1 snap election.
With a surprise decision, the AKP has opted to hold a two-day workshop before the Sept. 12 congress with the participation of MKYK members, the founders of the party, mayors from the party, and provincial and district chairs. Some 4,000 party members are expected to gather at the Congresium Hall of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) for the workshop on Sept. 10-11, with “democracy and social conciliation,” “transparent state,” “social state,” “economy,” “foreign policy,” and “women and youth” being the main themes.
Four three-member commissions led by three deputy chairs of the party -- Mehmet Ali Şahin, Süleyman Soylu and Mustafa Şentop – and the party’s secretary-general, Haluk İpek, have been working on the preliminary selection of nominees to become candidates on the AKP ticket in the Nov. 1 vote. A high board chaired by Prime Minister and AKP leader Ahmet Davutoğlu will put the final touches to the candidate list.
There are strong rumors that a comprehensive overhaul will be made on the lists for provinces in eastern and southeastern Anatolia, with Ağrı, Diyarbakır, Şırnak and Van being prioritized as losses in these regions in the June 7 election is thought to have stemmed from unsuccessful candidates.
Changes on lists for Adana, Ankara, Elazığ, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Istanbul, İzmir, Kayseri and Mersin are also planned, with the total number of changes of names compared to the June 7 list expected to reach 100. As a result, at least 25-30 deputies who entered parliament in the June 7 vote may be left out of the new lists and around 50-60 current deputies may have difficulty getting re-elected.
Half of the 50-member MKYK, meanwhile, is expected to be replaced in the Sept. 12 congress, with influential figures such as Bülent Arınç, Beşir Atalay, Mehmet Ali Şahin, Numan Kurtulmuş, Mustafa Şentop, Ekrem Erdem, Nihat Zeybekçi, Mehmet Şimşek, Süleyman Soylu, Bekir Bozdağ and Ömer Çelik expected to be reelected.
Prominent names such as Yalçın Akdoğan, Efkan Ala, Lütfi Elvan, Cevdet Yılmaz, Taha Özhan, Hatem Ete, Mücahit Arslan, Vedat Bilgin, Ertan Aydın, Adnan Boynukara, Lütfiye Selma Çam, Ravza Kavakcı Kan, Özlem Zengin and Aziz Babuşçu are expected to take up posts in the MKYK.