Erdoğan expected to announce new Cabinet Thursday

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may announce his new Cabinet at his regular meeting with the president later this week, government spokesman Mehmet Ali Şahin said.

Erdoğan expected to announce new Cabinet Thursday

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may announce his new Cabinet at his regular meeting with the president later this week, government spokesman Mehmet Ali Şahin said Monday.

"The prime minister will meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Thursday," Şahin, who is also deputy prime minister, told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. "I do not know whether he will submit the new Cabinet list, but I got the impression that he will."

At Monday's meeting, the last for the current Cabinet, Erdoğan thanked his ministers for their work over the past five years, said Şahin. The Cabinet meeting lasted four-and-a-half hours. The ministers discussed domestic and foreign developments, the state of Turkey's EU membership negotiations, the troubled collective bargaining process and the strike declared at Turkish Airlines (THY).

The Cabinet also discussed who the party will field as a candidate in a parliamentary vote later this month to elect the next president. Erdoğan was forced to bring elections forward from November after his party twice failed in April and May to elect Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül as head of state when the opposition boycotted the vote in Parliament.

Sources say Minister Şahin, Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik and Public Works Minister Faruk Nafiz Özak openly and fully support Gül's presidency. A number of Cabinet members have also requested that Gül not withdraw his nomination. The issue of the party's presidential nominee was also brought up in the AK Party's Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting later in the afternoon. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Gül, who is not on the committee, was also invited to the meeting, observers noted.

The AK Party won 46.5 percent of the vote in snap elections on July 22 to secure 341 of the 550 seats in Parliament and a popular mandate to govern Turkey for a second five-year term.

The president asked Erdoğan to form the new government on Aug. 6. Under the Constitution, he has 45 days to name his new Cabinet and obtain a vote of confidence in Parliament.

Observers believe Erdoğan will make several changes to his outgoing Cabinet, notably to give portfolios to prominent new AK Party recruits.

Last week Parliament approved a new timetable for fresh presidential elections, setting the first round for Aug. 20.

The second round is scheduled for Aug. 24, the third for Aug. 28 and the final and fourth round for Sept. 1. Candidates for the post have until midnight on Aug. 19 to put themselves forward.

Today' Zaman

Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2007, 16:08
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