Binali Yıldırım tops internal AKP survey for new leader

Binali Yıldırım tops internal AKP survey for new leader

Binali Yıldırım tops internal AKP survey for new leader

AA photo

Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım has emerged as the frontrunner from the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) intra-party survey, conducted ahead of its extraordinary congress to choose its new leader and Turkey’s prime minister, according to the first leg results of the survey announced late on May 16. 

To the question “Who do you want to see as the new party chairman?” a majority of 329 AKP members participating in the first round of the survey answered “Binali Yıldırım,” writing his name on the envelope distributed.    

Executive-level party organization members, provincial chairs, provincial mayors, provincial general councils and deputy mayors in metropolitan cities participated in the first leg of the survey, Mustafa Ataş, the AKP’s deputy chair in charge of party organization, told state-run Anadolu Agency on May 16. 

Sources say Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ were the names that followed Yıldırım in the survey. 

The AKP held the second leg of its survey on May 17 with the participation of MPs, women and youth branch central decision and executive board members, central disciplinary board members, and political ethics and intra-party democracy referee board members.  

It is still not yet clear who will officially announce the AKP’s favored leadership candidate. Ataş said that in the event that outgoing leader Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu did not make the announcement, 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, but recently announced that he was stepping down after a series of rumored disagreements with Erdoğan.