News Analysis: Turkey reshuffles cabinet setting sight on 2019 elections

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-20 05:03:39|Editor: yan
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara,TurkeyJuly 19, 2017. (Reuters Photo)

ANKARA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Turkey reshuffled cabinet Wednesday by replacing or swapping 11 ministers as part of Erdogan's plans aiming victory in 2019 elections, according to a local expert.

"This new cabinet will carry out performance for preparations of elections in 2019," daily Hurriyet columnist Abdulkadir Selvi said.

These ministers will perform a six-month program of the government, which is expected to be announced short after the cabinet change, according to Selvi .

President Erdogan earlier stated that they will outline a six-month roadmap to be better prepared for the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections, in a bid to address problems concerning the economy and democracy.

2017 will be the year for strengthening party organization for Erdogan, and 2018 will be the year for implementation of the government program to lay grounds for 2019 elections, Selvi noted.

President Erdogan earlier complained of a "fatigue" within his party and voiced necessity for rejuvenation.

A cabinet revision has been expected after President Erdogan regained the leadership of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) in a referendum in April 16 for constitutional amendments which abolishes the office of the prime minister and empowers the president.

Most of the constitutional changes will come into effect after the next general elections in 2019 and the president will be able to assume extended powers at that time.

Erdogan achieved a narrow win in April referendum with nearly 51 percent support which he sees risky for upcoming presidential elections.

Therefore he needs a strong and stable economic program and enthusiastic team to lay grounds for tough election period.

"This is a blood change. Cabinet revision takes place occasionally when a change is needed," Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday at a press conference for announcement of reshuffle after meeting with President Tayyip Erdogan.

The key ministries such as for the economy, finance, foreign affairs and the interior remained unchanged.

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, who has a respected reputation for international financial markets and investors, has preserved his seat, even empowered his position.

There were two deputy prime ministers responsible for economic affairs in previous cabinet, but former Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli is appointed as new Defense Minister.

Yildirim appointed former minister for justice Bekir Bozdag as Deputy Prime Minister and he is also expected to be spokesperson of the government.

The Turkish government has blamed a U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen for masterminding the plot and nearly 50,000 people suspected of links to the coup or Gulen have been arrested and almost 150,000 people dismissed from public services.