ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish president-elect Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he would ask incoming prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a new government on Thursday, and a new cabinet of ministers would be announced the following day.
“God willing, we will give Davutoglu the mandate to form the government tomorrow, and the new cabinet will be announced on Friday,” Erdogan told a crowd of his ruling AK Party supporters before attending a party meeting.
The AK Party was set to elect current Foreign Minister Davutoglu as its leader at the congress in an Ankara sports hall later in the day and Erdogan will appoint him prime minister on Thursday after his inauguration as president.
AKP members waved Turkish and party flags and cheered as Erdogan arrived at the hall. He greeted them and threw red carnations to the crowd as a song dedicated to him boomed out around the arena.
Erdogan will cement his position as modern Turkey’s most powerful leader when he is sworn in as president, enabling him to complete a transformation of the country which critics fear will deepen divisions in society.
The appointment of close ally Davutoglu as prime minister is viewed as a sign that Erdogan has little intention of loosening his grip on the day-to-day running of the country as president.