Ankara, Aug 31 () - With less than two weeks to go to the convention of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the party leadership is now working on how it can best make use of its experienced politicians and whether they would run in early polls, including former Economy Minister Ali Babacan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Around 70 senior AKP deputies had to quit active politics because of a strict three-term restriction before the June 7 polls but the decision to renew elections sparked an in-house debate at the party headquarters. As Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had earlier hinted showing flexibility in the three-term rule’s implementation, it has been learned that he is mulling over inviting 10 retired members to run in snap elections, Hürriyet daily reported.
Among figures who may run for parliament in snap polls are Babacan, Çavuşoğlu, former Labor Minister Faruk Çelik, former Culture Minister Ömer Çelik, former Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, former Industry Minister Nihat Ergün, former Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, former Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker, former Justice Minister and Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Şahin, and former Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli.
Out of these figures, Babacan has specific importance because of his very successful performance as an economy minister in keeping Turkish economy resilient even in the most difficult times.
These figures will either be serving as the members of the AKP’s central decision-making body or will be nominated for parliament from their respective constituencies.
Not all will return to parliament
However, for the remaining ones, it will not be an easy period if they have the intention to return to parliament. The AKP leadership has reserves on former Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, former Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik, former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, former Interior Minister Beşir Atalay and former Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım.
Around 20 out of 70 former AKP officials are believed to have applied to run for parliament. However, they should first succeed in the elections for party management on Sept. 12 and then try to find place on nomination lists.