Ex-Turkey premier promises new political party

14 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

ANKARA: Former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday said he would launch a “new political movement” in the latest challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his former allies, reports AFP.

Davutoglu was the prime minister and chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) between 2014 and 2016 until relations soured with Erdogan and he was forced out.

There have been persistent rumours that he would establish his own party to rival the AKP.

“It is our historical responsibility and duty to the nation... to set up a new political movement,” Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara.

Davutoglu had already served notice of his intentions earlier this year when he criticised the AKP’s trajectory, especially after a controversial decision to annul the results of Istanbul’s mayoral election when it was won by the opposition.

The opposition went on to win the re-run of the vote in Istanbul by an even wider margin, having also conquered the capital Ankara, both of which the AKP and its predecessors had held since 1994.

“I resign from the party where I have served with great honour, worked for years and given much effort to,” Davutoglu said. His resignation appears to have come before the party’s decision earlier this month to send him to its disciplinary board for dismissal.