President Erdoğan’s new criteria and the election’s calendar

President Erdoğan’s new criteria and the election’s calendar

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is setting the bar higher each day about the change in the party’s organizations.

On the 16th anniversary of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) foundation, Erdoğan said, “Since the struggle’s conditions have changed, we must also change. Change is in the AKP’s identity. This time even a more deep-rooted change is needed.”

Speaking at the AKP’s Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting, which took place under the leadership of Erdoğan, one member said, “Talks about the change in the organizations and local administration is appreciated very much in the society. People are excited.” Erdoğan responded by saying that he agrees with that observation, adding “I also receive similar reactions.”

Emphasizing serious signals toward change coming from the society for some time, Erdoğan warned, “If we do not realize this change, people will do it in the elections.”

He has been renewing at least 50 percent of the deputy lists since the 2002 elections.

The president is talking about the “metal fatigue” in the organizations since a congress on May 21, when he was reelected to head the party. 

Sometimes he adds the “professional deformation” concept to this rhetoric. But he reflects his will for change in every one of his speeches insistently and each time by increasing its percentage. For a while, I was looking for an answer to the question on why Erdoğan was this persistent in the subject of change.

It seems that some of the party organizations’ inefficient work in the field during the April referendum as well as the fact that some mayors have pulled the votes of the party down has had its effect. 

Erdoğan raised the bar higher when the apathy between some of the metropolitan mayors and the ministers are added to it all.

Erdoğan lists the criteria in the organizations and local authorities as the following:  

1. We have nothing to do with the ones who are a burden to the party when they should be an asset. 

2. We need people who have enthusiasm, energy and projects, who can reach out to people, and at the same time people can reach them back too. 

3. We will continue with the ones who are loyal to their principles, love the society, and devote themselves to serving the society. 

The 2019 election is the key reason behind the will for change.

“With the new organizations, we will go through three elections in 2019. These organizations will be on the field for the local, presidential and parliamentary elections. Therefore, we can only come out of the elections with success with a cadre that is facing the nation with enthusiasm and energy, not with those who have turned their backs to the people,” Erdoğan said. 

In the meantime, an electoral calendar was being shaped during the MYK meeting.

The AKP will go to a camp in Afyon on Oct. 6-7. It will be the first camp under the leadership of Erdoğan after a three-year-long break. 

District congresses will be completed in November and the province’s congresses in February. The big congress will be held in September 2018. At the congress, the AKP’s key figures will be renewed.

The team that will carry the party to the 2019 elections will be formed. A cabinet change is expected after the big congress as well.  

Local elections will take place on March 31, 2019. At the cabinet meeting, some proposed to join all three elections, arguing that the votes could go down during the municipal elections. Erdoğan rejected the proposal saying, “We will see our situation at the local elections and then get organized until October.”

Presidential and parliamentary elections will be done together on Nov. 3, 2019.

Erdoğan put forward a very important criterion on the nomination of the candidates for municipal elections. “Local elections will be an indicator of the presidential elections. We must be very careful.  We will go to the elections with the candidates wanted by the public, not with the candidates we want,” he said. 

According to a party member, Erdoğan is forcing the change in the organizations but the real goal is the change in the municipalities.