Turkey’s AK Party nominates new chairman

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on Thursday announced its candidate to assume the chairmanship – and likely, the country’s premiership: Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications Binali Yildirim.

AK Party Deputy Chairman and spokesperson Omer Celik made the announcement in Ankara, hailing “our esteemed friend” Yildirim and saying he had been chosen by a “huge consensus” within the party.

Earlier this month, current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced he would not stand again for the party chairmanship, a role he currently holds alongside the premiership, meaning he will also be replaced as prime minister.

The announcement came hours after the party’s highest decision-making body, the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), gathered at 11.00 a.m. local time (0800GMT).

The chosen candidate is to be elected in an extraordinary congress on Sunday. He is expected to become the country’s next prime minister.