President Erdoğan to join AKP ranks on May 2

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ANKARA, TURKEY - APRIL 17: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd, who were waiting to celebrate the results of the referendum, after he arrived in the Esenboga International Airport in Ankara, Turkey on April 17, 2017. AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will join the ranks of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 2 after the announcement of the official results of a referendum held on April 16, according to a statement from Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Friday.

Turkey approved a constitutional package in a referendum on April 16 with 51.4 percent of the vote allowing Erdoğan to retain his ties to the AKP and switching the country to an executive presidency.

Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced the official results of the referendum on Thursday.

Yıldırım said the procedure for Erdoğan to re-join the AKP will take place at the party’s parliamentary group meeting on May 2.

The AKP will also hold an extraordinary party convention on May 21 where Erdoğan is expected to run as the only candidate for AKP leadership.

Erdoğan was among the founders of the AKP in 2001 and served as its leader since the party’s establishment and as prime minister from March 2003 to August 2014, when he was elected president.

In Turkey’s former system, the president has to be impartial and sever ties with their political party after being elected to the top state post; however, Erdoğan was being criticized for still acting like the AKP leader.

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