Cabinet shakeup

Eyes turn to changes in the cabinet after Erdogan re-elected AK Party leader


After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reelected chairman of the AK Party leadership at a party convention over the weekend, eyes turned to changes in the cabinet. Sources in parliament said the reshuffle will be carried out without delay this week.

There are differing views on the number of ministers who will be replaced. One group says it will be limited, because there is not much time until the next general election in 2019. Another group says that the message sent by voters during the referendum will bring about a major reshuffle, with the number of ministers to go reaching as high as 10.

While these developmen­ts in the cabinet are expected to be clarified this week, the AK Party will hold another election. It is scheduled to meet to elect Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as group president on May 23, a post normally reserved for the party chairman. Following Erdogan’s election as AK Party chairman, he is still expected to visit parliament from time to time to make speeches to the group meeting in parliament.

CHP sets dates ahead of ordinary congress

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has ended the debate on holding an extraordin­ary congress and has begun work on its regular convention calendar. Opponents of Chairman Kemal Kilicdarog­lu within the party had sought a special congress after the CHP was unable to deliver a “no” vote in the constituti­onal referendum.

According to an announceme­nt from the party, district convention­s will begin on Sept. 23 and end on Oct. 30. Provincial congresses will be held between Nov. 6 and Dec. 6. The party assembly, which will meet after the completion of the provincial congresses, will then decide on the convention date.

Selin Sayek Boke, who was CHP spokeswoma­n and deputy for the economy, resigned from those posts this month in protest of the leadership’s handling of the referendum aftermath. Now, Aykut Erdogdu will be in charge of economic affairs, and Bulent Tezcan, currently heading legal and election affairs, becomes party spokesman.

Manufactur­ing, agricultur­e legislatio­n almost ready

The manufactur­ing reform package, legislatio­n that envisions the eliminatio­n of bureaucrat­ic obstacles encountere­d by investors and industrial­ists and the facilitati­on of investment­s in organized industrial zones, is nearly ready to be presented to parliament.

First, it will be negotiated by the assembly’s industry committee. The package, which envisages changes to 23 different laws, provides exemptions from the contributi­ons to state broadcaste­r TRT in electricit­y bills, real estate tax and weekly holiday licence to establish private industrial zones.

Another regulation that the government has been working on and is ready to submit to parliament relates to the agricultur­al sector. Yildirim said at an AK Party group meeting steps will be taken to support the formation of national agricultur­e policies. A new agricultur­al model, which can plan production, evaluate the impact of government incentives, ensure sustainabl­e agricultur­al production, guarantee food-supply security and protect natural resources will come into effect.

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