Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that he is stepping down while announcing a congress on 22nd May to choose the AKP party’s future leader.
The prime minister and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader said in a key press meeting on 5th May, following a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) that he had decided to relinquish his post, despite success on his terms.
His decision came after consulting party bodies and President Recep Tayyip Erodoğan, pointing to a recent move by the 50-member Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) to remove his right to appoint local leaders of the AKP.
He said he preferred to leave the seat himself, instead of changing his associates, highlighting that he would remain friends with Erdoğan.
“I have no sense of failure or regrets in taking this decision,” Davutoğlu said, speaking at a press conference evaluating his prime ministry following the MYK meeting.
Davutoğlu said resignation was not “my choice but a necessity.”
“The changing of chairs is more proper; I do not want to be a candidate at the congress,” he added. “Our relationship of loyalty with the president will continue,” he also promised.
He praised his interim government between the 7th June, 2015, election, in which the AKP failed to gain enough parliament seats to form a government, and the 1st November, 2015, polls which put the party back into full power. The party produced significant reform after the 1sr November, 2015, election, he said.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan commented on the congress decision, saying it was Davutoğlu’s decision.
“I wish him well. It is the prime minister’s own decision,” Erdoğan said.
A key meeting between Davutoğlu and Erdoğan at the Presidential Palace lasted for one hour and 40 minutes on 4th May.
Relations have reportedly been tense between the president and the prime minister amid rumours that Davutoğlu would resign after saying on 3rd May and that he would not hesitate to “walk away from any job position.”
In pointed remarks before the 4th May meeting, Erdoğan said, “You should not forget how you got your post.”