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.