Economic candidates to battle at top of party lists

Economic candidates to battle at top of party lists

Economic candidates to battle at top of party lists

The former CEO and president of Borsa Istanbul, İbrahim Turhan had resigned from his position in February. DHA Photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) top economy executives will be replaced in the June 7 election, according to its recently announced candidate list, while the opposition parties’ nomination of leading economic figures apparently displayed their bid to show voters that they are ready to take power.

King of the AKP’s new economic castle appears to be the former CEO and president of Borsa Istanbul, İbrahim Turhan, who resigned from his position in February and who has been nominated to run for the ruling party from İzmir. Former Finance Ministry Undersecretary Naci Ağbal is also likely to hold a key position in the economic administration if the AKP is elected again.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, a key figure responsible for the economy, will continue to be part of the economy team in the next government, although Babacan is unable to run for parliament because of the ruling party’s internal three-term limit.

On the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) front, CHP Deputy Chair Selin Sayek Böke, an economist who recently joined the party, will run from the first place in İzmir’s first election area. 

Zekeriya Temizel, who was elected to the CHP’s Party Assembly as a newcomer in September 2014, is also joining the race from İzmir. Temizel served as Turkey’s finance minister between 1997 and 1999 and later chaired the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) from 2000 to 2001.

As for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Durmuş Yılmaz, the former governor of the Central Bank and advisor to former President Abdullah Gül, and Erhan Usta, who most recently served as deputy undersecretary of the Development Ministry, have captured attention as prominent candidates in the economic field. 

Meanwhile, in late March, Kemal Derviş, a former U.N. Development Program chief and internationally renowned economist, pledged to join the CHP and serve as deputy prime minister responsible for economics if the party takes power in June.