Reshuffle expected within opposition MHP

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 20.04.2017 00:50

On the other hand things are looking even more complicated for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Even though the MHP administration declared their support to the amendment package, preliminary results showed that a great majority of the MHP voters sided with the "no" campaign in the constitutional reform referendum.

Although the MHP votes and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) votes stood at 61.39 percent in the Nov. 1, 2015 referendum, "yes" votes barely exceeded 51.4 percent in the referendum. AK Party votes alone were 49.49 percent in the Nov. 1 elections. While in many provinces AK Party votes were almost identical with those of the November elections, in the same manner the MHP votes almost identically added to the "no" votes.

For instance in MHP chairman Devlet Bahçeli's constituency, Osmaniye, the AK Party and MHP votes were above 81 percent in November, whereas in the referendum, "yes" votes made up only 58 percent of the total. Additionally, in central Anatolia, where the MHP has a traditionally strong voter base, the MHP camp only added to the AK Party "yes" votes by 2 percent or 3 percent.

Dr. Tanju Tosun also drew attention to the poor referendum results for the MHP.

Tosun noted that, "When comparing the ‘yes and no' votes in the scope of provinces to the Nov. 1 elections results of the MHP, it is evident there is serious amount of MHP voters, particularly in Central Anatolia, the Mediterranean and Aegean, had leaned towards ‘no'."

"This means that the MHP's executive administration was unable to convince its voters. If there is a case of inability to convince then we can say that there is a willingness to begin a new movement by the voters," Tosun said.

"I personally assess this new political establishment to be not like the MHP's projection but rather more close to a right-wing tone party when considering the naysayers from April 16," he added.

In addition, MHP dissident Meral Akşener has reportedly knuckled down to form a new party after she was expelled from the MHP in September 2016. According to claims in Turkish media outlets, Akşener is in efforts to gather her team around the Nationalist Turkey Party (MTP), as far as sources in lobbies are concerned. However, yesterday, Akşener rejected such claims on her Twitter account.

In line with this development, Dr. Tanju Tosun emphasized that the nationalist supporters may enter a quest regarding MHP's fate.

"In the upcoming period, the nationalist voters may enter a quest regarding what happens to their party in the future. This quest may either lead to seek for a new party administration or the nationalist voters may seek to establish a new nationalist party. They [MHP supporters] have displayed signs of this on April 16 because the MHP's contribution to ‘yes' votes on April 16 was maximum 2 percent. One can say this very bravely because most of the public surveys have found that 80 percent of nationalist voters were naysayers," Tosun said.

Touching upon the developments regarding the opposition MHP, Nebi Miş from SETA reminded of the nationalist party delaying its provincial and district congresses due to Meral Akşener's affiliation to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

"Following the referendum, MHP will hold its own congresses and determine its provincial and district administrations. On the other side, because the MHP cannot reconcile with its intraparty opposition, Meral Akşener will try to interfere with the provincial congress members of the party. If not successful in that, she [Akşener] may aim to establish a political party in the scope of political conjecture and developments. However, the Akşener ideology is not only an Akşener ideology; it is evident that she is being supported by FETÖ," he said, adding that, "In the process after this, there will be duality within the MHP, especially with the FETÖ-backed Akşener expected to become a candidate."

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