Two senior figures in Turkish President’s Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party are planning to launch a rival political group this year, people familiar with the matter said, a move that could further erode support for the country’s long-time leader on the heels of a stinging electoral defeat in Istanbul.
Behind the breakaway plans are former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan and former president Abdullah Gul, both founding members of Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP), according to two political advisers.
Sunday’s re-run mayoral election delivered the second loss in recent months for the AK Party (AKP) in Turkey’s largest city, a bitter setback for the president who has ruled for 16 years. It has also emboldened critics within his own party who have for years hinted at plans to form a rival party because of dissatisfaction over Erdogan’s increasing powers over the party and government.
With economic recession, unemployment and inflation hurting Turkish voters and eating into the AKP’s support base, any further erosion – even just a few percentage points of voter support – could be deeply damaging for the party, which already relies on an alliance with nationalists for its parliamentary majority.
“Babacan and Gul will most likely form the party in the fall,” said one of the advisers, who is close to Babacan.
Read more HERE