Ruling AKP’s mayoral candidate Yıldırım to resign as parliamentary speaker ahead of elections

Ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate for İstanbul mayor and former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced on Tuesday that he will be resigning from his current role as parliamentary speaker ahead of the local elections.

"At the moment my party applies [for my candidacy], I will have given a resignation letter from my post as parliamentary speaker,’’ Yıldırım told Turkey’s CNN Türk.

The announcement arrives following a barrage at criticism directed at Yıldırım’s nomination by AKP as mayor of İstanbul in the March 31 local elections despite his role as parliamentary speaker.

Opposition lawmakers cried foul, saying Yıldırım’s current role does not allow for him to run in the elections, according to Article 94 of the Turkish Constitution.

"The issue of my role [as parliamentary speaker] will be over as of Feb. 18," the former prime minister had remained silent until now said. "I will do whatever my nation says."

On March 31, Turkish voters will elect more than 20,000 officials, including mayors and city and district councillors.