Turkey's transport minister elected as head of ruling AK Party at congress

Reuters News
Posted: May 22, 2016 9:23 AM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim was unanimously elected on Sunday as the new leader of the ruling AK Party and therefore the prime minister, allowing President Tayyip Erdogan to cement his grip on government as he seeks greater powers.

One of the co-founders of the AK Party along with Erdogan, Yildirim, 60, won all the votes from the 1,405 delegates at an extraordinary party congress.

Yildirim was the sole candidate at the congress, which was announced after Ahmet Davutoglu said earlier this month he was stepping down following an increasingly public rift with Erdogan.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Gulsen Solaker; Editing by Ece Toksabay and David Dolan)