Erdoğan to set a new party team next month

Following his Cabinet reshuffle, the prime minister is now working on renewing his party’s management and his top aides in Parliament, the Turkish Daily News and Economic Review has learned. The party’s general convention is likely to take place here on Oct. 3.

Following his Cabinet reshuffle, the prime minister is now working on renewing his party’s management and his top aides in Parliament, the Turkish Daily News and Economic Review has learned. The party’s general convention is likely to take place here on Oct. 3.

The party management reshuffle is expected to be concluded after the election of the Parliament speaker in early August. Although current Speaker Köksal Toptan has not yet announced a decision about his political future, he is expected to run for another two-year term. However, apart from his seat, 45 top positions will find new holders by Oct. 1, the day when Parliament will begin its legislation period.

According to sources, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will ask Toptan to continue in his position. Toptan, a veteran center-right politician known for his moderate views, worked to keep the balance between the ruling and opposition parties in Parliament. His removal from office would cause some problems both within the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and Parliament. On the other hand, a group within the AKP is lobbying for former Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik to take the respected post. Salih Kapusuz, former parliamentary group deputy leader, and Burhan Kuzu, head of the Constitutional Commission are also in demand for the post.

The Parliament speaker has four deputies, two from the ruling party and one each from the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP. While Erdoğan is planning to appoint new names for these positions, the CHP and the MHP are likely to continue with Güldal Mumcu and Meral Akşener respectively. The heads of the 28 commissions will also be changed, according to sources.

As former parliamentary deputy group leaders have entered the Cabinet, Erdoğan will have to appoint two influential figures for replacements. Former Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin is considered to be one of the candidates for the post. As part of the renewal, the prime minister is also seeking to change nearly half of the chairpersons of the party’s provincial branches.

Finally, Erdoğan will renew his 50-member Central Decision-Making and Executive Board, or MKYK, during the general convention. Thanks to this comprehensive renewal, Erdoğan is planning to work for the next general elections in 2011, if he does not run for snap elections next year.

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