Former President Gül not to join Babacan’s new party: report

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Former Turkish head of state Abdullah Gul speaks during a press conference on April 28, 2018, in Istanbul. Gul on April 28, 2018 ruled out running for the presidency in June, dousing fevered speculation he would challenge current President. The polls are significant because under constitutional changes approved in an April 2017 referendum, Turkey will be run under an executive presidency with boosted powers for the head of state. / AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC

Former Turkish President Abdullah Gül will not accept a position in a new party that will be established by former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan but will support the party from the outside, the pro-government Türkiye daily reported.

Babacan resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on July 8 and issued a written statement on Aug. 8 in which he spoke about having started preparations for the establishment of a new party.

Gül, one of the co-founders of the AKP, was also said to be acting in concert with Babacan.

According to Türkiye, Gül reportedly told Babacan and his team that he was ready to lend them all the assistance they need such as ensuring the support of others for the party but that he would do this from the outside.

The founding committee of Babacan’s new party will comprise 60 to 70 people. The party’s bylaws and program are ready, and the party is now looking for a building to house its headquarters, the daily reported.

Babacan will reportedly make the founding of his party public by the end of December.

Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, another former AKP member, has also been making preparations for the establishment of another new party.

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