Former MHP dissidents announce name of new party

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 29.08.2017 23:55

Former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) dissidents led by deputies Meral Akşener and Koray Aydın, who continue the formation process of a new party, recently announced its name, the Central Democrat Party (MDP).

"We are currently working on name alternatives and logo samples. But most probably it will be called the Central Democrat Party," Aydın said in a televised interview on Aug. 28.

Speaking about the formation of Akşener's new party, ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesman Mahir Ünal asserted that it is likely to fail. "Akşener and her team should firstly take a step in the political arena. Our nation will surely be the one to judge whether they are qualified enough or not," Ünal said and added, "But I don't believe that they will able to make room for themselves in Turkish politics."

The examples of the failures of deputies in Turkey are numerous. For instance, the political career of Erkan Mumcu, who was a former deputy for the AK Party and former culture and tourism minister, ended following his resignation from the AK Party and the media no longer mentions him. An additional example is former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Şener, a former AK Party politician who announced the establishment of a political party in 2009 called the Turkey Party. Şener closed his party shortly after its founding in 2012 due to its failure to establish its political goals. He later aimed to join the Felicity Party (SP), but it did not happen. Another example is former Foreign Minister İsmail Cem, who resigned from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) in 2002 ahead of parliamentary elections and formed the New Turkey Party (YTP), however due to election failure it also closed and merged with the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

Akşener was expelled from the MHP due to claims she had ties to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). According to sources close to Akşener, her new party is expected to gain legal status by October. Last week, Aydın announced that he resigned from the MHP to join Akşener's new party. Aydın served as Public Works and Housing Minister from 1999 to 2001. He was put on trial in 2005 at the Supreme Court on corruption charges, but was cleared of all the charges in 2007. In 2016, he indicated on a televised broadcast that Akşener was linked with FETÖ. He has now decided to join Akşener's team.

Meanwhile, in an effort to increase her party's publicity, Akşener has been trying to persuade people who are widely known to join her new party. Former Chief of Staff İlker Başbuğ, former Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç and former Presidency of Religious Affairs head Ali Bardakoğlu have all reportedly declined Akşener's invitation to join her new party. Başbuğ declined the invitation to join the new party on the grounds that he does not want to be a politician. Kılıç and Bardakoğlu also said they will not be part of the new party.

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