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Turkey to get new prime minister in two weeks

Having just voted the current incumbent into presidential office, Turkey will get a new prime minister on August 27, selected by the ruling party. On Sunday Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected president, meaning the Justice and Development Party, known as the AK Party, will have to select a successor for the premiership. Party spokesman Huseyin Celik said on Monday that an extraordinary congress in two weeks will choose a new party chairman, who will assume the prime minister's office. Erdogan will be sworn in on August 28 after overseeing the congress. Celik said the congress is likely to select a single nominee and there would probably not be a contest between rival candidates. Outgoing President Abdullah Gul has been mentioned as a possible prime minister but has to return to the AK Party first. Celik said: “It will be quite natural for President Gul, as one of the founders of the AK Party, to return.”

Asked about the lower proportion of votes for Erdogan than predicted in presidential opinion polls, Celik added: “An opinion poll is mere an estimation with a certain margin of error and most of the opinion polls have proved to be almost true.”

The election victory consolidates Erdogan's hold on power after an 11-year tenure as prime minister. He is widely expected to attempt to reinforce the powers of the presidency, which runs for five years, turning it from a ceremonial role to a more hands-on position.

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