Istanbul, Sep 21 () - Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu convinced former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan to stand as a candidate for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Nov. 1 election on the last day before the deadline for the party to submit their candidate lists to the Supreme Election Board (YSK).
Davutoğlu made a phone call to Babacan at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 to convince him to return for the snap poll. Prior to speaking with the prime minister, Babacan, who was among the founders of the AKP, was unconvinced about running, as he was “offended” by President Tayyip Erdoğan, his friends and other members of the party.
The impression was Babacan had fallen out of favor with Erdoğan and the control of the economy would be left in other hands. Babacan had not applied for a nomination for candidacy, as he was determined to not be a part of the new government.
A number of party members attempted to convince Babacan to run, but he refused until Davutoğlu himself called the former deputy prime minister and convinced him by saying “the party and Turkey needs you.”
Davutoğlu gave strong signals that Babacan would continue his determinant role in Turkey’s economy during the upcoming term. Davutoğlu said he nominated Babacan from the 1st electoral region in Ankara.
Babacan, a U.S.-educated former management consultant, has long been seen as an anchor of foreign investor confidence.
He was prevented from standing for re-election in June because of an internal party limit banning three consecutive terms.
Though Davutoğlu pledged Babacan would take control of the economy, there were still questions about whether his requests will apply on issues such as credit card legislation and a medium-term program.
Elaborating on Babacan’s nomination, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said he did not have any information on how the former deputy prime minister had been persuaded.