Plans for ruling party’s ‘deep congress’

Plans for ruling party’s ‘deep congress’

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Plans for ruling party’s ‘deep congress’

This 2009 photo shows PM Erdoğan (L) and his wife Emine Erdoğan at the AKP’s 3rd congress. Hürriyet photo

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) will celebrate its 11th anniversary on Aug. 14. The party, founded by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and ruled by him for 11 years, may be on the brink of a historic congress, as important as the party’s founding congress. Declaring his candidacy for the party’s chairmanship for the fourth time, as is required by the party’s rules, Erdoğan will be elected for the last time at the AKP congress, which is planned to be held on Sept. 30. Therefore, radical changes are expected at the party’s roots.

Erdoğan will both design the path the AKP will take after his chairmanship ends, and make a “great change” that may affect the local elections in 2014 (if the date is not moved forward), the presidential elections, and the general elections in 2015.

The first important change will involve the Head Decision Board. The rules will change to allow those elected to three successive terms to become deputies again after an interval. Many of the renowned figures in the front lines of the AKP have completed their three-term limit, so they will not be able to be candidates in the 2015 elections. Seventy-three AKP deputies, including Cemil Çiçek, Bülent Arınç, Beşir Atalay, Sadullah Ergin, Hüseyin Çelik, Ali Babacan, and Bekir Bozdağ, will be affected by this limit.
According to the whispers coming from the depths, Erdoğan will not only renew the front line of the party, but also make successive changes to the administration of the Parliament and Cabinet. He will shift the successful people affected by term limits to local administrations. Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has also confirmed this.

There is about two years’ time remaining, but the topics of which minister will be a candidate in which province, and which governor will take office in the party administration or in the Cabinet have already begun to be discussed in the government’s corridors.

It is taken for granted that Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım will be a candidate for the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality. It has been said that Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş will first be deputy chairman, and then be appointed to the Cabinet after the elections. EU Minister Egemen Bağış’s name is whispered around for mayor of Istanbul.

It has also been said that Ali Babacan, son of a family of tradesmen from Ankara, will be a candidate from Ankara, and Melih Gökçek will be transferred to the Parliament. Ertuğrul Günay from Antalya, Suat Kılıç from Samsun and Mehdi Eker from Diyarbakır will be nominated for local elections. Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Tanrıverdi will be a candidate for the ministry from Manisa.

Successful mayors will be at the forefront of the party and the Cabinet. Kayseri Mayor Mehmet Özhaseki, Gaziantep Mayor Asım Güzelbey, Altındağ Mayor Veysel Tiryaki, and Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir are among them.

While Erdoğan designs the period after his departure, he is also underlining the fact that the “national view” will prevail on the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), the most important organ of the party. According to speculation, those having a “national view” background, such as Numan Kurtulmuş from the HAS Party, Şeref Malkoç, Teoman Rıza Güneri and Ahmet Demircan, will be probably take office on the MKYK. Those having “national view” experience from the AKP and outside will be brought to the fore.
In designing the future AKP, Erdoğan will also drop many clues about the 2015 elections. The public will be able to see a clear picture of who will take office in many positions, including the presidency, the prime ministry, the party administration, local administrations and bureaucracy, and also of who will be excluded.

It seems that plans made at the “deep congress” will not only shape the future of AKP, but also the future of all Turkish political and bureaucratic life, to a great extent.

TheCHP’s local administration in action

Republican People’s Party leader (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will start focusing on local administration after the party’s present congress. It is clear that the CHP will not have success with its base. It is necessary for the CHP to reach the center and even the nationalist-conservative area.

They will only be able to post successes in Justice and Development Party (AKP) strongholds like Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep in this way. Kılıçdaroğlu is aiming to form an expert team that includes local administration expert Murat Karayalçın and Gürsel Tekin, who has had success in connecting with more peripheral urban areas. Special projects will be produced for each province, especially for Istanbul and Ankara, and candidate profiles will be created. Measures will be taken against AKP candidates.

New candidates in the MHP and BDP

An ordinary meeting in the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and an extraordinary meeting in Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) is expected in fall. MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has had no rivals for many years, but the fact that they party has been unable to exceed 12 percent for some time has created unease in the party’s base. The Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) cadres have become vacant due to arrests. In fall, an extraordinary meeting may be necessary for the party. The base is pleased with co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak. Bingöl deputy İdris Baluken, meanwhile, took over the deputy group chair position from Hasip Kaplan.