By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday returned to his post as Justice and Development (AK) Party chairman by votes of 1,414 party delegates.
Less than three years after giving up the post, a revised Constitution passed in last month’s public referendum gave Erdogan the chance to return to the party helm at an extraordinary party congress in the capital Ankara.
The new Constitution restores to presidents the right to belong to a political party, a right enjoyed by Turkey’s first three presidents, including republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
At the congress, the party delegates not only elected their leader but also members of the party's boards: the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), Central Disciplinary Board (MDK), Intra-Party Democracy and Arbitration Board, and Political Virtue and Ethics Board.
Some articles in the party bylaws were also changed. One change paved the way for Prime Minister Binali Yildirim -- who bowed out as party chairman, making way for Erdogan -- to serve as acting chairman, representing Erdogan in day-to-day party matters.
The principle of "one nation, one country, one government, one flag" was also added to the AK Party's bylaws.
The party delegates also gave the MKYK the power to form and dissolve the party's ground-level organizations.
In another change to the bylaws, deputies are still limited to serving three terms in parliament, but now the MKYK is allowed to make exceptions to this rule.