Turkey's ruling AKP debates scenarios for post-Erdoğan era
There is an increasing likelyhood that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (C) will run for the seat in the presidential elections in August. AA PhotoWith the increasing debate over who will be Turkey’s next leaders in late August, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has intensified consultations to choose the best scenario if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s is elected president.
The work carried out by the AKP also includes possible constitutional amendments for the adoption of a presidential system and changes on the Election Law to be implemented in next year’s parliamentary elections.
President Abdullah Gül’s statement that he has no political plans for the future under today’s conditions, meaning he will not accept being Erdoğan’s “yes-man prime minister” has changed parameters. Some pro-government columnists have openly criticized Gül for his statement, while deputy AKP leader Mehmet Ali Şahin defended the president.
“The real reason behind this statement was to stop unnecessary speculations over plans for future,” he said, adding they should not be regarded as negative.
“Who will run for president will be decided at the end of the consultations. There are assessments suggesting that our prime minister’s decision for candidacy has already been made. Why would there be such consultations if a decision had been made?” Şahin told the private NTV broadcaster yesterday.
Şahin said Gül and Erdoğan would talk about this issue following the conclusion of consultations, saying “As a person who knows our president closely, I am of the opinion that he will act in line with the results of these consultations.”
On discussions regarding who would head the AKP and become prime minister in the case of Erdoğan’s election as president, Şahin said one of the four current deputy prime ministers could fulfill the task.
The current deputy prime ministers are Beşir Atalay, Bülent Arınç, Emrullah İşler and Ali Babacan.
But Şahin recalled that the party’s common wish is to see Gül as the AKP leader and prime minister. “I think Mr. President would not reject the notion if his friends from the 9-million strong AK Party community made such a proposal,” he stressed.
Hinting they would consider constitutional amendments in the aftermath of 2015’s parliamentary elections to change the administrative system to allow for a better functioning model, Şahin said he hoped that they will have sufficient majority at Parliament through the narrowed constituency system.
The narrowed constituency system should be adopted before June 12 this year if the AKP wants to implement it in next year’s parliamentary elections. The issue was expected to be discussed during yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. The opposition is criticizing the government for working on a system that would only work to its advantage and underlines that it will not bring about a healthy representation of the people at Parliament.