Turkish Prime Minister resigns

Turkish Prime Minister resigns
The Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, says he will resign as leader of the ruling party AKP, and thus pave the way to be replaced as prime minister.

- I have decided that in the interests of the party it will be best that the leader is replaced. I will therefore not stand for re-election as party leader, said Davutoğlu on Thursday afternoon.

The formal resignation will happen on 22 May when the leadership of the Turkish ruling party AKP convenes in an extraordinary congress to elect a new party leader, CNN Turk and NTV reports.

According to the party statutes, the party leader is also appointed to the prime minister's office.

So by resigning as party leader, Davutoglu also resigns as prime minister, which according to Turkish media previously was expected that he would do.

Davutoğlu met with the party's founder and Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday to give his resignation.

A power struggle has emerged between the two party members, who until now have been regarded as close allies, according to Turkish media.

Davutoğlu allegedly has disagreed with Erdogan in several key issues, and opposes the president's change of the parliamentary system to get more power.

It has already for several months been rumors that the two former allies have had disagreements.

Erdogan handpicked Davutoğlu as Prime Minister when Erdogan himself left the prime minister office and was elected president.

Davutoğlu was foreign minister until then.

Davutoğlu's retirement can now further strengthen Erdogan's grip on power as the country's undisputed leader, and it is expected that the President at the meeting on 22 May will present a loyal candidate to the position as party leader and hence prime minister.

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