Following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s referendum victory for the constitutional amendments granting executive powers to him, he will on May 21 take the helm of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in an extraordinary convention.
Erdogan will implement major changes in the party’s administration and the cabinet in May, Xinhua news agency reported.
With the new constitutional changes, Erdogan is able to officially re-establish his ties with the AKP from which he resigned in August 2014 after being elected as the President, according to the constitutional requirement at that time.
The first step will be taken on Monday as the party will convene its Central Executive Board, its top executive bodies, and then the central-decision making body to invite Erdogan to re-establish links with the AKP.
Erdogan will also deliberate on the extraordinary convention during these meetings and register his party on Tuesday at a parliamentary meeting.
“We happily invite our President back to our party. There is nothing stopping him from becoming its chairman. However, the first step is to readmit him once more as a member of our party,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last week.
Ahead of the party meeting, a cabinet reshuffle is expected as Erdogan wants to shift departing ministers to different posts in the party.
Erdogan on Sunday said that he was not in charge of the cabinet reshuffle decision which is the Prime Minister’s responsibility, but has remained the de facto determining leader for party affairs since leaving the AKP.
Several other new appointments are expected for party cadres in the extraordinary congress.
Yildirim will also resign from his post as Erdogan will become the sole candidate for the party’s chairmanship.
Erdogan, one of the ruling AKP co-founders, previously chaired the party for 13 years from 2001 but had to step aside when elected President.
Presently, he will once more be able to head the ruling AKP while concurrently serving as President, thereby legitimising the de facto situation without violating the constitution.
The Turkish President will be in a position to maintain a tight grip over his party and parliament since the AKP holds majority seats in parliament.
Turkish nationals voted “yes” on April 16 for the 18-article package paving the way for a transition from a parliamentary government model toward a presidential system, with limited checks and balances among governing authorities.
The referendum paved the way for Erdogan to potentially rule until 2029.
The majority of constitutional amendments will be put into effect through general and presidential elections to be simultaneously held in 2019.
However, three articles will immediately come into effect — the President’s party membership, the re-organisation of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors and abolishing military tribunals.