Prime Minister Yıldırım hints at Cabinet reshuffle

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 26.04.2017 00:14

A reshuffle of the Turkish Cabinet, including changes in key posts, is likely to take place in the coming weeks after discussions between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

"From time to time, fresh blood in the Cabinet is a democratic necessity," the prime minister said in an interview with Bloomberg on April 24.

Yıldırım, however, did not provide any further details or names of who could take up positions in the Cabinet.

"It wouldn't be right for me to provide the names of who will come and who will go. Without taking such a step, it wouldn't be right to speak about it at this moment, as doing so may be deemed inappropriate for the privacy of our friends.When the time is right, we can make the change and we will go about this process in consultation with our president. I think that in the coming months, we'll definitely take up this subject."

Commenting on President Erdoğan's return to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Prime Minister Yıldırım said that once the referendum results are published in the Official Gazette, which is expected before the end of this month, Erdoğan "can be a member right away."

The recent constitutional amendment package that was accepted by the public through the April 16 referendum, allows the president to maintain membership with his political party. Thus, President Erdoğan's return to the ruling AK Party is expected to take place in the coming days.

Yıldırım went on to say that "We [the AK Party] will happily invite our president back to our party," adding, "Also, there is no barrier stopping him from becoming the chairman. But, the first step is to make him a member of our party again."

The prime minister also said that the AK Party will hold an extraordinary congress in the coming weeks.

"We can decide to hold a general congress at any time, without holding the provincial congresses. We've done so before and can do so again. I have never said that we would not hold an extraordinary congress."

In the meantime, Yıldırım thought there was no need for a rush to enact all of the constitutional amendments immediately, as doing so would push the election date forward from the scheduled November 2019.

The prime minister also dismissed rumors about the possibility of an early snap election, saying: "In principle, we don't like early elections because such elections bring uncertainty, which affects the economy and a range of other issues. With the exception of this [the elections scheduled for 2019], no other elections are part of the plan. There is nothing at the moment that would move us towards an early election," he concluded.

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