Turkey’s ruling AK Party to hold 6th ordinary congress

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will hold its sixth ordinary congress Saturday in the capital, Ankara.

The party will change its bylaws in accordance with Turkey's new presidential system.

The new bylaws will enable members of the presidential cabinet to take part in the Central Executive and Decision Board (MKYK), which has the power to form and dissolve the party's grassroots organizations.

A total of 1,457 delegates will vote for a new MKYK of 50 party members.

AK Party spokesman Mahir Unal said previously that at least half of the MKYK’s membership would change in the sixth congress.

Fifty-two heads of state as well as senior officials of foreign diplomatic missions and representatives of non-governmental organizations have been invited to the congress.

The AK Party normally holds its grand congress once every three years. The last one was in September 2015.

In May 2017, the AK Party held an extraordinary congress following the historic approval of a raft of constitutional changes that April.

At the congress, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reelected as head of the party.

On June 24 this year, Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.6 percent of the vote, besting his closest rival, Muharrem Ince, who got 30.6 percent, according to Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK).

In the parliamentary polls, the People's Alliance, including the AK Party, won 52.6 percent of the vote. The Nation Alliance, including the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), got 33.9 percent.

After its establishment in 2001, the AK Party won the November 2002 election with two-thirds of the seats in parliament. It became the first party to win an outright majority in over a decade.

During his time as prime minister, Erdogan oversaw general elections in 2007 and 2011, both times returning the AK Party to power with a greater share of the vote.

The party also performed well in local elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014 when it secured 18 out of 30 mayoral seats in larger cities.

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