Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan officially rejoined the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Tuesday after absence of about three years after referendum win to give him more powers.

“Today, I return to the party I founded,” Erdogan said after rejoining the AKP at a ceremony held for official registration of the president at the party headquarters in capital Ankara with participation of hundreds of party officials.

Erdogan is the first Turkish politician as the president that has formally retains links with a political party. The president is expected to chair the ruling party as well.

“I will nominate Erdogan as the candidate chairman of the party at the May 21 extraordinary congress,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said at the ceremony.

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On April 16, a narrowly won a referendum for constitutional changes granted executive powers to Erdogan with just over 51 percent of the vote.

Under the former constitutional article, the head of state had to break ties with their political party and Erdogan had to leave the AKP when he was elected president in August 2014 after serving 13 years as the prime minister.

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