ANKARA The prime minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, announced on Thursday that he will not run again for president of the ruling party, the Islamist Justice and Development Party, or AKP, during the extraordinary congress the party to be held on May 22.
Davutoglu said at a news conference in Ankara that he never demanded any position and was not the one who insisted on becoming prime minister or, previously, foreign minister, stressing that he came to these positions with consensus.
I do not intend to be a candidate in an absence of consensus, he added.
He made clear that his replacement as party leader also mean his resignation as prime minister, as AKP rules state that both positions are held by the same person.
The fact that my term lasted far shorter than four years is not a decision of mine but a necessity, said Davutoglu.
In his speech, he indirectly acknowledged that his resignation and the preparation of an extraordinary congress of the party came because he has lost the confidence of his party, but added that has no regrets.
At the last party meeting, the AKP leadership withdrew from Davutoglu the power to appoint local party officials, the first obvious sign of a power struggle between the prime minister, head of the party since August 2014, and his predecessor and founder of the AKP, the current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Davutoglu, though, said that he does not plan to face his former mentor, and now rival, and will make every effort to keep the party united.
Davutoglu, political advisor to the AKP since the beginning of the last decade, was foreign minister from 2009 to 2014 and was chosen by Erdogan to succeed him as head of government when the latter was a candidate for the presidency of the country in the summer of 2014.