Significant decrease in MHP votes, Bahçeli on brink of resignation

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 02.11.2015 01:34

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) received a severe blow in the elections considering the remarkable drop in the number of deputies in Parliament and an observable cut in the percentage of votes all around Turkey.

The party had gained 80 seats in Parliament with 16.29 percent of the vote in the previous elections; however, it had gradually lost its credibility since the June 7 elections through MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli's harsh stance toward every option presented by political actors.

Even some journalists on social media platforms claimed that Bahçeli is planning to resign after such a defeat in the elections.

Nicknamed "Mr. No," drawing an analogy with the Italian comic book Mister No, Bahçeli's uncompromising attitude was thrust into the line of fire. Moreover, Tuğrul Türkeş, former Ankara deputy and son of the party's founder, Alparslan Türkeş, accepted Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's offer to join the interim cabinet, contrary to what the MHP embraced in the process. He then announced his resignation from the MHP following the party's central disciplinary committee's decision to expel him for accepting Davutoğlu's offer.

Türkeş also predicted on Monday last week that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will receive support from the MHP's voter base in the upcoming Nov. 1 elections. In an interview with a Turkish daily, Türkeş said the failure to form a coalition government has caused MHP supporters to move toward the AK Party.

Furthermore, dozens of members from the MHP had pledged allegiance to the AK Party before the Nov. 1 general elections.

On Oct. 22, Kemal Saraçoğlu, the MHP candidate who ran for mayor in the southern province of Şanlıurfa during the March 30 local elections, announced that he had joined the AK Party. According to reports, former labor minister and AK Party's Şanlıurfa deputy Faruk Çelik visited Saraçoğlu and congratulated him during his visit to the province.

Prior to that, 150 MHP members also resigned from their party on Oct. 20 to join the AK Party.

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