Three-term rule on AK Party's agenda

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 26.06.2015 19:21
Updated 27.06.2015 15:01

Following the recently held general elections, a three-term rule was placed on the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) agenda once more. During the consultation meeting held by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu early last week, it was reported by local media that members of the party have indicated the three-term rule is the major cause of the 9 percent decrease in votes. The three-term rule, which prevents a politician from running for a fourth consecutive term, was introduced by the AK Party and the then-prime minister and current president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who claimed that it was an effort to allow the continuation of younger generations to take over Turkish politics.

The three-term rule, which also applies to the party's provincial governing bodies, has caused new faces to join the AK Party's organizations. Sources further indicate that the AK Party was unable to reach voters in many districts due to the unfamiliarity of the new members in the party's governing bodies. In this regard, a number of AK Party deputies, including ministers, met with President Erdoğan at a dinner in late February to modify the three-term rule. However, sources from the Prime Ministry spoke to Daily Sabah prior to the elections and underlined that the topic was not on their agenda at the time. With the results from the June 7 elections, Turkey faces another coalition government after 14 years, with many believing that such a government would be unsuccessful.

In case of failure in forming a coalition government or the coalition government collapsing, a snap election will be held. Thus, the 68 deputies who were unable to announce their candidacy for nomination in the June elections, such as Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and former Parliament speaker Cemil Çiçek, will get the opportunity to announce their candidacy in a possible snap election. While the 68 deputies will have the opportunity to announce their candidacy, nearly 30 current deputies will be subjected to the three-term rule and be unable to enter Parliament. The AK Party is to hold a party congress in the fall where senior party members have reportedly begun initiatives to modify the rule.

As President Erdoğan has been keeping an assertive stance regarding the three-term rule, with the president reiterating his position, saying that the rule is needed to carry on the party's establishment philosophy and political stance for future generations, local media sources further indicated that Prime Minister Davutoğlu will also bring the topic up for discussion in the upcoming days in an effort to prepare for any possible snap election.

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