ErdoIan creates secret committee to appoint election candidate list

A cabal of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) senior officials known for their close ties with President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan are reportedly drawing up, in secret at ErdoIan’s behest, the list of AK Party candidates to run in the June 7 elections. According to a report in the Taraf daily on Monday, ErdoIan has created a secret committee drawn from his “loyal” AK Party officials, including former Minister Binali YIldIrIm and Deputy Chairman Must

A cabal of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) senior officials known for their close ties with President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan are reportedly drawing up, in secret at ErdoIanand#39s behest, the list of AK Party candidates to run in the June 7 elections.

According to a report in the Taraf daily on Monday, ErdoIan has created a secret committee drawn from his andldquoloyalandrdquo AK Party officials, including former Minister Binali YIldIrIm and Deputy Chairman Mustafa Ientop. This committee has been working at a mansion in Ankaraand#39s Oran district to come up with a list of candidates who will side with ErdoIan to prevent Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu from wresting the unofficial power within the party away from ErdoIan after the elections.

Interviews with the prospective nominees and other secret meetings are reportedly being held at the mansion.

According to the Constitution, the president is not allowed to get involved in the process of selecting nominees for Parliament.

But ErdoIan, who was elected to the presidency last August after serving 11 years as prime minister, has been taking on many of the duties of his former role ahead of his post-election plan to change the Constitution to create a presidential system in Turkey.

Taraf also reported that ErdoIan had complained to some of the AK Party deputies during their visits to the presidential palace about the governmentand#39s ambitions to keep him in the background.

ErdoIan reportedly said that some of the government officials wanted to andldquojail him in the presidential palaceandrdquo after National Intelligence Organization (MIT) head Hakan Fidan was reappointed to his job following his resignation from the post to run for Parliament from the ranks of the AK Party in February, only to withdraw his candidacy in March.

The rift between ErdoIan and the government heightened after Deputy Prime Minister Banduumllent ArInandccedil said on Sunday that ErdoIanand#39s recent remarks appearing to criticize the governmentand#39s actions only serve to undermine the government.

ErdoIan stepped up his disapproval of the governmentand#39s moves in the ongoing settlement process attempting to resolve Turkeyand#39s decades-long Kurdish issue, by voicing his opposition to a landmark meeting with the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP) last week. ArInandccediland#39s reaction was the first time a government official had publicly responded to ErdoIanand#39s recent criticisms, indicating a rift, particularly over the settlement process, between the president and the government.

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SOURCE: Today’s Zaman