The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is readying to hold an extraordinary congress which is expected to be attended by thousands, as the party prepares to choose President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as its leader again.
The AKP is planning to hold a ceremony to mark Erdoğan’s return to the party at the congress on May 21, the third extraordinary congress in the party’s history in which it will change its leader for the third time. Party members will be brought from different cities.
Erdoğan will be nominated to the leadership with the signature of a total of 1470 delegates at the extraordinary congress. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will be the first to sign the document.
Besides the party leadership, the AKP’s top officials in the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) will also be changed. Half of the board is expected to be changed at the congress.
Gül, Arınç to be invited
“The congress where our president will be elected as the leader again will naturally be a special one. This congress will be different and it will be attended grandly,” said Mustafa Ataş, the party’s director of congress affairs.
Some 1,500 buses are expected to transport participants from provinces all over Turkey. Besides delegates, members of the party’s provincial organizations will also be brought to Ankara.
All former lawmakers, provincial heads, ministers and mayors are expected to be invited, excluding figures expelled or those who resigned from party membership.
Turkey’s former President Abdullah Gül and former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, both who have been distant to party affairs, have been invited to the congress.
July 15 coup veterans will be invited
The families of people who died in the July 15, 2016, coup attempt and veterans will also be invited to the congress.
Mission chiefs and representatives of non-governmental organizations will also attend the congress.
There will not be guests from abroad.
The party’s frequently used song “Dombra” will be the main theme song to play at the congress.