“Are you ready to bring presidential system? The most important thing we have to do today is to turn this de facto situation into a legal one and thus end the confusion. New constitution and presidential system is the way for it,” AKP new leader Binali Yildirim told a party congress.
Binali Yildirim addresses his supporters at the congress of Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara, Turkey on May 22, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]Yildirim also vowed to prioritize fight against terrorism in his agenda.
He pledged to continue military operations against the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State (IS) at home and in Syria.
“Our way is the way of our party’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” Yildirim said in his final speech after the vote at the convention which underlined allegiance to leadership of Erdogan, one of the prominent founders of the party.
“This congress is the one which displays importance of loyalty to the leadership,” he added.
Nearly 1,470 AKP delegates elected the party’s third chairman on Sunday at an extraordinary congress in a vote at which Yildirim was the only candidate.
Yildirim, a former minister of transport, maritime and communications, is scheduled to receive the mandate to form the new government from the president late on Sunday, as outgoing Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu submitted his resignation to Erdogan following the end of AKP congress.
Yildirim’s government will read its program after Erdogan’s approval and then submit to a vote of confidence in the parliament most likely on May 29.
Yildirim is known as a loyal figure to the president and he has worked with him since the 1990’s when Erdogan was the mayor of Istanbul.
The AKP’s new leader is a maritime engineer and worked for various public transportation companies before entering politics with the ruling party in 2001.
He served as minister of transport in three separate administration terms since the AKP took power in 2002.
When Yildirim did not run for the parliament in 2014 due to AKP’s three-term limit, he ran for mayor in Izmir province, but failed to win. Then President Erdogan appointed him as his adviser.
Yildirim will succeed Ahmet Davutoglu, who was forced out of office due to disagreement with President Erdogan. Davutoglu announced in early May that he will step aside after he reportedly had a tense meeting with Erdogan who handpicked him as his successor in August 2014.
At the congress a new list for the 50-seat of AKP’s Central Decision-Making Body Council (MKYK) featured 26 new figures, with excluding six current ministers and eight deputy party chairmen, as an indication of a significant reshuffle in party management and in Yildirim’s new cabinet.
The new MKYK is younger, with the number of female members doubled to 15.
Yildirim is expected make reshuffle in cabinet and in party management with names more loyal to Erdogan. The replacement in prime ministry’s office will make easier Erdogan’s ambition for an overhaul of the Turkish constitution that would give presidency many of the executive powers that traditionally belong to the prime minister.