Shakeup in government

AK Party’s extraordin­ary congress expected in late May as Erdogan rejoins ranks


May is shaping up to be a busy month for politics in Turkey. The results of the referendum on constituti­onal amendments will bring changes in the cabinet, to the presidency and for the AK Party’s executive board.

After the publicatio­n of the final results of the referendum in the Official Gazette, the process will get underway. The first step will be reinstatin­g President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party membership. Then Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is expected to gather AK Party leadership and announce the party will hold an extraordin­ary congress, sources close to the matter said. The party has 45 days after making decision to hold the congress, but it is expected to happen much sooner, either on May 20 or May 27.

The AK Party’s 50-person Central Executive Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, will see a shakeup after the congress, party sources said. A reshuffle is also expected to take place in Yildirim’s cabinet before or after the extraordin­ary congress. The changes are expected to be a major overhaul of the cabinet.

Legislatur­e resumes work

Parliament, which has been in recess since March, except for convening on April 17 when it voted to extend the state of emergency for another three months, re-opens on Tuesday. The timetable for changes to laws it needs to pass to comply with the constituti­onal amendments is six months. The AK Party and the Nationalis­t Movement Party (MHP) are expected to continue to work together, as they did on the constituti­onal amendments, during this period of legislativ­e adjustment, sources said. They said there will be efforts to find support from with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), but if those fail, the AK Party and the MHP hold enough seats to change the laws together. AK Party lawmakers have started its work on the changes at the committee level, under the chairmansh­ip of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag. Devlet Bahceli, who heads the MHP, announced that his party has begun to study the legislatio­n as well.

Tax amnesty may pass this week

Draft legislatio­n that will allow the restructur­ing of tax debt (tax amnesty), will be discussed this week in parliament’s budget committee. Receivable­s worth 47 billion lira will be restructur­ed by the regulation that could affect 7.2 million citizens. If the commission phase is completed by Tuesday, the law will be voted on in the General Assembly on Thursday.

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