Ex-Erdoğan ally Babacan set to announce new party by March
Ali Babacan, Turkey’s former deputy prime minister and a founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is set to announce the establishment of a new political party by March, Sözcü newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The board of founders is almost complete for the political movement, which will include both figures who have resigned from the ruling AKP and those who are new to the country’s political scene, Sözcü said, citing sources in Ankara.
Babacan, who is widely lauded for successfully steering Turkey’s economy during the first decade of AKP rule, was among a string of high-profile resignations over the summer from the governing party that has ruled Turkey for 17 years.
Babacan’s upcoming party is one of two political movements set to rival the ruling party by peeling away at the religious conservative voter base that has kept the AKP in power.
“An application for the formation of the party will be submitted to the Interior Ministry within days,’’ a source said. “It will take place by the beginning of March at the latest.”
Meanwhile, former President Abdullah Gül, another founding AKP member who has come out in criticism of the Islamist party and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has given his support for Babacan‘s new party.
"Of course, I support [his party]. I have faith in and appreciate the character, education, knowledge and political style of Mr. Babacan,’’ Gül told Karar newspaper on Tuesday.
Gül also expressed his support for Turkey’s return to a parliamentary system.
"My preference with a fully democratic parliamentary system. The Turkish parliament has never been as insignificant as it is today. Turkey is feeling the deficiency of this,’’ the former president said.
Turkey shifted from a parliamentary to the executive presidential system after elections held in June 2018.