Arguments continue in MHP as convention date remains disputed

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 03.06.2016 23:51

Confusion continues to reign over when the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will hold its emergency convention. The court-appointed organizing committee announced on Monday that the MHP will hold an emergency convention on June 19, shortly after the party administration said that the convention date was set to be July 10. The disputes in the MHP regarding the date of the convention continued when party Chairman Devlet Bahçeli on Tuesday said: "We will change our party regulations and hold elections at an emergency convention on July 10. We will not accept any other congress date apart from that." In response to Bahçeli's remarks and the position of the party administration, party dissidents described it as a "trap." They announced Monday that they will organize their own convention on June 19 at the Büyük Anadolu Hotel in Ankara to challenge Bahçeli's leadership, following the party's poor performance in last year's general elections last year.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera Türk on Friday, MHP Deputy Chairman Semih Yalçın said that Bahçeli had reserved three dates at the Ankara Convention Arena – June 19, June 26 and July 10 – prior to the court decision to convene an emergency convention. However, since the court ordered the convention to be held on June 19 and it was agreed upon by dissents, Yalçın said that although the administration does not plan to petition the court, any convention on June 19 by dissidents will not be considered legitimate by party headquarters. Yalçın reiterated that Bahçeli and the MHP Central Executive Board would not attend the dissident-organized convention and that the convention on July 10 will be comprehensive and include all groups. In response to dissidents' claims of July 10 being a trap, Yalçın said that it is "manipulation to overshadow legitimacy of the headquarters."

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