MHP dissidents clash, part ways before July 10 convention

YUNUS PAKSOY @yunuspaksoy
ISTANBUL
Published 20.06.2016 23:24
Updated 21.06.2016 00:06
Dissidents could not agree on who should chair Sunday's emergency convention in Ankara, leading to an hours-long dispute.
Dissidents could not agree on who should chair Sunday's emergency convention in Ankara, leading to an hours-long dispute.

Having waged a drawn-out legal battle against the party administration, dissidents in the nationalist MHP parted ways at Sunday's emergency convention, further deepening the chaos

Despite the triumph by dissidents on Sunday at an emergency convention in changing a party bylaw to allow the election of a new chairman, chaos in the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) continues, as party dissidents criticize each other. Sinan Oğan and Koray Aydın have complained that Meral Akşener tried to change some of the bylaws without their knowledge. "Call it the disintegration [of the dissidents] or some other thing you like, but if the bylaws are to be changed here, all of the changes should be brought and negotiated together," Oğan said, adding that he did not know of any of the changes made to the bylaws. Aydın also said he did not see any of the changes. "We thought only an article would be changed.

"Meral Akşener's team is at it again. We could have contributed with our experience," Aydın contended.

Sunday's emergency convention, which was held by party dissidents and not attended by the party administration, was aimed at changing the bylaws that prohibit the election of a new chairperson at emergency conventions. Many bylaws other than this were changed at the convention, which aim at preventing chairman Devlet Bahçeli from taking the convention to court or taking any disciplinary action against the dissidents.

Oğan and Aydın's statements caused confusion, as the changes made at Sunday's convention favor both of them. Oğan's troubled process of membership was guaranteed with a change. Aydın will not face any disciplinary action regarding the changes until July 10, when the emergency convention scheduled by the party administration and dissidents is held.


We did not know of any the changes made to the bylaws. If the bylaws are to be changed here all of the changes should be brought and negotiated together. - Sinan Oğan

With 752 out of 1,186 delegates in attendance, according to figures provided by the trustee committee, the dissidents at Sunday's convention succeeded with overwhelming support in changing the party regulations.

Multiple examples of differences of opinion among the dissidents were demonstrated at the convention. Many delegates and visitors booed Akşener as she entered the hall with her supporters again chanting "Prime Minister Akşener."

Musavat Dervişoğlu and Hasan Hüseyin Türkoğlu were nominated for the council chairman. While Dervişoğlu was Akşener's nominee, Türkoğlu was nominated jointly by the other dissidents.


We thought only an article would be changed. Meral Akşener's team is at it again. - Koray Aydın

Scores of delegates openly protested the nomination of two people, shouting: "We want only one nominee." A fight broke out behind the stage because Akşener could not agree with the other dissidents on nominating just one nominee.

Following an hour-long debate, Dervişoğlu was selected as the council chairman in a show of Akşener's dominance, which was clear yesterday. Scores of delegates cheered for Akşener multiple times, chanting "Prime Minister Akşener."

Despite the success by dissidents in changing the MHP regulations, Bahçeli has another plan. Even though hundreds of delegates attended the emergency convention and changed the bylaws, the party administration will take the issue to court. According to sources in the party, Bahçeli will wait for a temporary injunction on the convention.

Bahçeli previously fought a legal war against MHP dissidents, attempting to prevent them from holding an emergency convention.

Having declared July 10 as the "real emergency convention for the MHP," Bahçeli will seek to remain in his post as chairman.

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