Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Wednesday elected incumbent Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the sole candidate for the party helm, as premier and party leader.
In a vote at a congress just one day before President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes office, the AKP overwhelmingly approved Davutoglu with 1,382 concurring votes out of 1,388.
Last Thursday Erdogan announced in the capital Ankara that Davutoglu will become the ruling AKP chairman and the new prime minister as his successor. Addressing supporters before the ruling AKP congress on Wednesday, Erdogan said “We will give Davutoglu the mandate to form the government tomorrow, and the new cabinet will be announced on Friday.”
Erdogan, who dominated Turkey’s political scene for 11 years as the prime minister, was elected as president on Aug. 10. He will step down as the leader of the ruling party when inaugurated as the head of state on Thursday.
Davutoglu has been loyal to the outgoing prime minister as an advisor from 2003 to 2009 when he was the foreign minister in Erdogan’s cabinet. He has been famous, for the last 12 years, as the chief architect and ideologue of Turkey’s assertive foreign policy, which aims to make Turkey more influential in international community.
The AKP, founded on Aug. 14, 2001 as the 39th political party of Turkey, came to power after winning the general elections in November, 2002.