Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided to maintain a three-term limit for its deputies, the clearest signal yet that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will run for the presidency in an August election, the party said on May 2, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
There has been speculation in Turkey that the AKP could change its rules to enable Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, to stay on as prime minister for a fourth term.
"It was decided appropriate to take no steps on the three-term rule," AKP spokesman Huseyin Celik said in a statement, following a five-hour meeting of the party's executive board to discuss the August presidential vote.
Erdogan said in October he would run in the country's first direct presidential election if asked to do so by the party.
But his failure to establish the executive presidency he wanted to beef up the largely ceremonial role, and a corruption scandal that has dogged his government since December, had fuelled speculation that he may seek to stay as prime minister.
In the May 2 meeting, the AKP also decided that the party will not propose to change Turkey's current electoral system.
Celik announced the decision that future elections will go by the current electoral system.
Prime Minister Erdogan had previously spoken about the Turkish government working on a new election law that would divide the country into 550 single member districts.
Currently, the country has 85 districts and 550 members of parliament.