The next PM

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Since officials at the rul­ing AK Party con­sid­ered Sun­day’s vote a sim­ple for­mal­ity, they have been work­ing on fu­ture govern­ment sce­nar­ios post-Er­do­gan. The key ques­tion in that de­bate is the next prime min­is­ter once Er­do­gan as­cends to the pres­i­den­tial palace on top of Cankaya Hill in Ankara.

Po­lit­i­cal ob­servers in Ankara seem to be drop­ping the name of in­cum­bent Pres­i­dent Ab­dul­lah Gul fol­low­ing a three-month de­bate, some­thing that made it clear that Er­do­gan does not want a strong prime min­is­ter to chal­lenge the pres­i­dent’s au­thor­ity, but a Cabi­net-co­or­di­nat­ing prime min­is­ter which has not been seen in the Turk­ish sys­tem so far. There­fore, the next pres­i­dent is likely to be some­one who is happy to ac­cept that role.

There are a num­ber of can­di­dates for that from within the AKP whose names are be­ing tipped be­hind the scenes:

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Arinc is one of the three big guns of the party to­gether with Er­do­gan and Gul. He would be will­ing to keep the post un­til the gen­eral elec­tions in 2015 as a vet­eran of Is­lamic-con­ser­va­tive pol­i­tics for nearly 40 years. Er­do­gan, how­ever, may think that what he needs is a name more loyal to him, rather than the com­mon cause.

Davu­to­glu, as Er­do­gan’s risk-tak­ing for­eign pol­icy, is fre­quently re­garded within the party as the “hoca,” the mas­ter teacher. Speak­ing a num­ber of lan­guages and with the­o­ret­i­cal depth, es­pe­cially on the Is­lamic world, Davu­to­glu has proven his ca­pa­bil­ity to ad­dress masses in po­lit­i­cal ral­lies, be­sides lec­tur­ing in halls. Yet Er­do­gan might need Davu­to­glu (also with a strong per­sonal po­lit­i­cal agenda) as the for­eign pol­icy chief for some time more.

The for­mer com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter is the favourite of busi­ness cir­cles who are sure that he is 100-per­cent loyal to Er­do­gan him­self with no per­sonal po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions; that means he could be a good bridge be­tween the busi­ness world and the new pres­i­dent. Er­do­gan, on the other hand, might bring Yildirim to Cankaya Palace as a chief ad­viser or a sec­re­tary-gen­eral in order to act as ac­tual prime min­is­ter there.

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