ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
One of the founding members of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Abdüllatif Şener, resigned after a row erupted over his recent announcement to resume work on the formation of a new political party.
Şener attended yesterday's Central Executive Decision Board, or MKYK, meeting at AKP headquarters to submit his resignation. After a short stay at the meeting, Şener told reporters, �I handed in my letter and gave my farewell speech. The prime minister acted courteously, and I did so for my part. A resignation is not a combative act.�
Şener emphasized the importance of engaging in politics in what he called a decent manner. �Decent politics is vital for harmony between institutions and society and also for improving the ability of the system to address challenges. We have concluded everything in a decent manner,� he said.
Some AKP members criticized Şener strongly for starting a new political movement before submitting his resignation and threatened him with expulsion. However Erdoğan remained silent on the issue.
Şener has been working on the foundations of a new political party together with a former AKP member, Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır, who also served as a deputy prime minister in the former government. Like Şener, Yalçınbayır had also been vocal in his objection to Erdoğan's policies on major issues.
Şener is now expected to intensify his efforts to form a new party, which is said will unify the left and the right at the center under a strong umbrella. Whether he will be able to poach a number of deputies from the AKP remains to be seen and is expected to depend heavily on the verdict of the closure case pending at the Constitutional Court.
Şener was among the four key names to establish the AKP in 2001, along with President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Erdoğan and former Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç. He was elected as Sivas deputy in the 2002 general elections and served as a deputy prime minister. Since he was not in accord with Erdoğan on major issues, especially privatization policies, he did not run for the 2007 elections but remained a member of the MKYK.