BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:55 PM) – Turkey’s President Tayip Erdogan was elected as leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sunday in Ankara. The election was held during an extraordinary assembly of the party in Ankara and resulted in Erdogan becoming the sucessor of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in the role of the party’s chairman. Erdogan was the only candidate.
Out of 1470 votes in total he gained 1414 positive votes from the delegates. This is the second time Erdogan holds this post. He had already been acting as chairman for 13 years, beginnning the the party’s foundation 2001 until 2014. This sequence ended with him being elected as President of Turke due to a law, that prohibited affiliation of the President with political parties.
The law was revoked this year with a successfull referendum, held in Turkey on April 16, that also expanded the power of the Presidency. Both Yildirim and Erdogan campaigned for the referendum. The additional role as leader of the Justice and Development Party further cements Erdogans rule as President which technically could last until 2029.
In his speech at the congress of the AKP on Sunday, he also adressed the current state of emergency in Turkey, which was announced on 20th July 2016 in reaction to a failed military coup five days before against Erdogan’s rule. The military coup did cost 265 lives. The initially 3 months long state of emergency has already been extended multiple times and Erdogan made clear, there is no end in sight yet: “It will not be removed. Until when? Until we reach peace and prosperity.”
He also vowed to continue the fight against the kurdish PKK and the oppositional Gulenist movement, both considerer as terrorist groups in Turkey, the latter because it’s esteemed to be responsible for the failed coup.