Following a five-hour meeting to discuss Turkey’s election strategy, the ruling AK party’s executive board decided to leave the three-term limit on holding the post of prime minister, unaltered, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ has reported.
The meeting was chaired by the prime minister, who has previously said that he prefers the three term rule.
“It was decided appropriate to take no steps on the three-term rule,” AKP spokesman Huseyin Celik said in a statement. AK Party consultations on strategy for the presidential election were continuing, he said. Prime Minister Erdogan said last year, that he would run for the presidency if asked to do so by the party.
A president will be elected in August election for the first time. Previously the president was chosen by parliament and the role was mainly ceremonial. Erdogan, who has been eyeing the presidency for some time, has said that he will confer more power on that post and if elected, he will exercise that power to its fullest .
“This is a big step towards Erdogan running for the presidency,” a senior AKP official told Reuters after Friday’s meeting, but added that a final decision would not be announced before a broader party meeting scheduled for next weekend.
In the meanwhile current President Gul has not said whether or not he will run in the presidential election.
“When the prime minister and I discussed the issue, we said that we would make a decision among ourselves with regard to which of us will be candidate. No doubt, there will also be other candidates,” Gul told reporters during a visit to the Black Sea province of Zonguldak on 2nd May. He added that Erdogan was holding further consultations.