A political analysis group of 11 members from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has prepared a report after the April 16 referendum on charter changes, outlining a road map for the party to follow for the 2019 presidential elections.
The reason for the AKP’s change in policies and rhetoric, such as stressing heavily on achievements made by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, not commenting on Meral Akşener, the chair of the newly-launched Good Party (İyi Parti) and replacements of mayors and provincial heads are because of recommendations made in this report, sources told daily Hürriyet on condition of anonymity.
The study focuses on ways to get the support of voters who voted against constitutional changes in the referendum.
The report, which was presented to President Recep Tayip Erdoğan and other AKP figures four months ago, proposed that “2018 should be declared as the year of performance and a road map focused on the 2019 elections.”
According to the report, poorly performing provincial heads and mayors should be changed before the 2019 elections and a team to monitor the performance of the party organization and local administrations should be established. So far, 22 party provincial heads and six mayors have been changed.
The party should not allow internal clashes and statements promoting internal fights, the report recommended, adding that the AKP has determined a list of 25 people who will be eligible to speak on behalf of the AKP.
On the principles of the “fight against corruption,” the party would not allow any allegations over unearned income, particularly involving municipalities.
The report recommends the AKP focuses on center politics, its politics should harbor center voters under the AKP and the party should develop a rhetoric in accordance with this understanding.
The AKP should be ready for the possibility of a joint candidate presented by opposition parties, and the necessary legal framework should be adopted, according to the report.
It also warns the party to deploy a careful language when speaking about Akşener, who is likely to canvass votes from the CHP and the MHP, to avoid any dismay among ruling party grassroots.