Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Turkish prime minister announces decision to step down

Published:Friday | May 6, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the media at the headquarters of his ruling Justice and Development Party, in Ankara, Turkey, yesterday.

ANKARA (AP):

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation yesterday, paving the way for the country's president to pursue a tighter grip on power.

"I decided that for the unity of the (ruling party), a change of chairman would be more appropriate. I am not considering running at the May 22 congress," Davutoglu told the nation.

Davutoglu, who had fallen out with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced that he was stepping aside following a meeting with executives of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which has dominated Turkish politics since 2002.

The decision is not effective immediately. The party will hold an emergency convention May 22 to select a new party leader who will also replace the premier.

Davutoglu indicated that he did not plan to resign from the party, saying he would "continue the struggle" as a ruling party legislator. He also pledged loyalty to Erdogan, saying the president's honour was his honour, and suggested that he would not be a party to any efforts to divide the party.