MHP's Bahçeli says will run to keep leadership post at July congress
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMay 26, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
May 26, 2016 12:00 am
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli will stand again for leadership of his party at an extraordinary congress on July 10 in Ankara, he said on Wednesday.
The congress is aimed at resolving a leadership dispute between Bahçeli and dissident members of the MHP. In a written statement on Tuesday, Bahçeli said: "Our party will hold an emergency grand convention before our nation and history."
Just weeks after dissident members of the opposition MHP were blocked from holding an extraordinary congress, the Supreme Court of Appeals confirmed their bid to convene a congress that might lead to new party leadership. The Court of Appeals upheld an Ankara civil court decision green-lighting the congress, reversing a court that had overruled the decision on May 13.
MHP Deputy Chairman Semih Yalçın had said right after the announcement of the top court's decision that the party respected the decision.
MHP dissidents have been very local after the Nov. 1 elections, in which the party barely passed the 10 percent national election threshold and lost half of its deputies compared to the June 7 elections.
Since then, Meral Akşener, Sinan Oğan and Koray Aydın have raised their voices against Bahçeli, who has ruled the party since 1997. Later, the dissidents were joined by vice chairman Ümit Özdağ.
Seeking an emergency convention to amend party regulations which do not allow emergency leadership conventions to be held, the trio collected 543 signatures out of MHP's total 1,242 delegates. This number is enough to call for a convention and very close to the required 601 votes to change the regulations.
The trio submitted the signatures to the party, however, the party administration refused to hold a convention and forced dissidents to take the matter before court, which ruled for an emergency convention. The party administration appealed to the emergency convention decision at the Court of Appeals, which announced on Tuesday that it approved the local court ruling allowing MHP to hold the congress.