Former minister says Turkey's ruling party needs major reforms to avoid failure

Turkey’s former foreign minister and prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Sunday said the ruling party requires a new approach to politics to avoid total defeat after March 31 local election failure, news site Duvar reported. 

Davutoğlu, who was ousted from his position at an extraordinary party congress in May 2016, has emerged as a rival to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after reports suggested that he had been working to launch a new political party.

"It's not the time for silence today. If the masses are starting to break from the grassroots, you cannot stop the dissociation no matter what you threaten people with," Duvar quoted Davutoğlu as saying in a meeting in eastern Anatolian city of Elazığ.

Davutoğlu's remarks came after the ruling party suffered a major setback in March 31 local elections after losing five of the six largest cities in the country. The party has lost control of Istanbul, Turkey's financial powerhouse and cultural hub, after a re-run of the city's mayoral election, delivering a stinging blow to Erdoğan.

Former prime minister criticised the Islamist ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s economic policies, the situation of the judiciary and the new presidential system that gave Erdoğan sweeping powers.

"State structure is not built according to the views of individuals and political parties. From the crooked parliamentary system to (another) crooked system - the presidential system - was carried into effect," Davutoğlu said.

The solution to the disfavour of AKP is not reassignments within the government, according to Davutoğlu.

"Transparency, political law should be enacted immediately. We need a change of state, not a change of duty," he said.