Dissident MHP member Akşener rumored to be forming new party
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAJul 02, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 02, 2016 12:00 am
After the failure of some members of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to elect a new chairman on July 10, intra-party disputes continue as rumors spread that MHP member Meral Akşener is planning to form a new party while she collects signatures to hold a new convention.
After the imposition of an interim injunction by an Ankara civil court on the June 19 emergency convention held by MHP dissidents, the Çankaya Provincial Election Board ruled on Monday that if the MHP's convention set for July 10 fails to elect a chairman, MHP members will have to determine a new road map for the process.
As one of the strongest candidates for the cancelled party chairman elections, Meral Akşener is believed to be gathering signatures from deputies in order to pave the way for a new emergency convention. Akşener is also rumored to be making preparations for a fifth party to be located at the center right and formed mostly by names from the MHP. The new parliamentary party's name will apparently be the "Nationalist Democratic Party" (MDP) or "Nationalist Labour Party" (MÇP) and will supposedly include MHP deputies who will join the opposition wing. Akşener is also said to be forming a group by reaching out to at least 20 deputies in the Assembly, including transfers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
It is also believed that Bahçeli aims to regain all disciplinary authorities and authorization to shut down provincial organizations if the dissidents fail to replace him. Currently, the chances of Akşener staying in the party to fight seem to be quite low, especially considering the possibility of MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli remaining in place after the convention, which is to be held on March 18. If Bahçeli stays, Akşener's dismissal from the party following possible disciplinary action would be practically guaranteed.
MHP dissidents held an emergency convention on June 19 that was not sanctioned by the party administration and during which they changed party bylaws to allow the election of a chairman at emergency conventions. The plan was to elect a new chairman at the July 10 convention and the dissidents have been fighting to remove Bahçeli, who has led the party for nearly 20 years, following the party's poor showing in last November's general elections as well as many previous ones.
The party will now hold a convention with elections in March 2018 as declared by the party administration and chairman Devlet Bahçeli following the Nov. 1 elections.