The newly established far-right Good Party (İP) Chairwoman and presidential candidate Meral Akşener broke her silence yesterday, saying that her party has had substantial success in the elections and that she will remain the party leader.
Speaking at the party headquarters in Ankara after the İP's General Executive Board meeting, Akşener said that the party administration decided that she will continue her role as head of the party.
Akşener and her İP's election performances were widely speculated before the elections since they had not been tested before at the polls. She received 7.3 percent of the votes, 1.3 million votes fewer than her party, which received 10 percent of the vote in the parliamentary race. This performance led to questions of whether Akşener would resign as the head of the party, since her candidacy for president excluded her from holding a seat in the Parliament.
The right-wing İP was a part of the Nation Alliance, formed by the main opposition center-left secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), Islamist-conservative Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP), which participated in the elections under the İP's list. The Nation Alliance gained 33.9 percent of the vote, while the People's Alliance, formed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), received 53.7 percent of the vote while the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) received 11.7 percent.
Stressing that the party was launched only eight months ago, Akşener said their performance at the polls was a success, noting that the İP was the only party that did not receive financial support from the state for that reason.
Meanwhile, Yusuf Halaçoğlu, a former deputy from the central province of Kayseri who switched from the MHP to İP but failed to appear on the party's candidate lists for the June 24 elections, rejected Akşener's success claims.
In messages posted on his Twitter account, Halaçoğlu said: "We fought to prevent one-man regime and return to parliamentary system. In the end we couldn't make it. Now İP administration comes out says ‘We've succeeded.' Did we work only to become parliamentarians? How did you succeed? You came forward to become the president but received 7 percent of the votes. Is this success?"
The İP, which mostly consists of former MHP dissidents, was founded in October 2017. Akşener was a prominent figure among MHP dissidents who heavily criticized the policies of the MHP's chairman of 20 years, Devlet Bahçeli, after the general elections on June 7 and Nov. 1, 2015. The intraparty clashes ended after the dissidents were dismissed from the party after a heated judicial process.