The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will determine its candidate list for district and provincial heads via interviews in a meticulous move to rejuvenate the party as a part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's transformation plan following his return to the party after the April 16 referendum.
The AK Party will conduct interviews with possible candidates in order to finalize the list of candidates for provincial and district chairmanship posts in the forthcoming municipal elections in 2019. The interviews with district head candidates are expected to be made throughout September. The candidates were determined by means of opinion research and consultations within the AK Party.
The AK Party has evaluated the field studies regarding party members willing to be a candidate in its meeting between Sept. 5 and Sept. 6. The AK Party has finalized to a large extent the studies in districts where it will change its nominee.
As the period for district congresses began, the AK Party prioritized determining the candidate list for district heads. Following the completion of works about district organizations, the ruling party will focus on its efforts to select its candidates for provincial heads. As for the nominees for provincial heads, the final number of candidates will come to light in the upcoming days.
The AK Party started in August to prepare meticulous and detailed analyses in regards to the names and lists that could spearhead the party into the 2019 elections.
As part of its efforts to find the right people for the 2019 elections, 81 provincial heads were summoned to the AK Party headquarters in Ankara and asked about the current state of their branches. Deputies were also heard about their electoral districts and the problems of their people.
The ruling party has entered a new era following President Erdoğan's return to the party in late May. After the constitutional changes were approved in the April 16 referendum, which allowed President Erdoğan to re-establish his ties with the AK Party, the party held an emergency convention on May 21. Since then, the Cabinet has been reshuffled and Erdoğan has repeatedly spoken of "mental fatigue" within the party. "Our fellow friends in successful branches will, of course, continue their duties, but I guess you can also agree that a comprehensive change is needed in our local administrations," Erdoğan said earlier in July.