Turkey's election watchdog, the Supreme Election Board (YSK), has announced that they have declined the newly formed İYİ Party's (Good Party) request to receive electorate rolls because the party has not yet held a grand congress or district congresses.
Good Party officials criticized the decision, saying that the party has met the requirements to participate in elections. In response to the criticism, the YSK has pointed to the unmet requirements as the underlying reason of its decision.
Officials from the YSK have stressed that a political party needs to complete its organizations in half of the country and to have held a grand congress. However, when the YSK requested information in relation to the issue, they received the response that "no registry of a grand congress of the Good Party was found," which indicates that the required documents had not yet been given to the Supreme Court of Appeals prosecutor's office yet.
Additionally, the party needs to complete provincial-district congresses. To complete the party organization in a province, the party needs to hold congresses in one-third of the districts of a province. Officials added that if the party fulfills the requirements six months prior to the elections, they will be allowed to participate in the elections and receive their electoral roll.
The Good Party will also likely have a challenge to pass the 10 percent threshold in the next election. According to a poll by the Optimar Research Company last October, the party did not have enough support, and would not able to pass the electoral threshold. According to a survey with 1,547 participants in 26 provinces, the Good Party's vote share was 6.4 percent. In response to the question: "Do you think that Turkey needs a new political party?" 57.8 percent of participants said that there is no need for a new party.
The Good Party, which is mostly comprised of former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) dissidents, was founded in October. Good Party Chairwoman Meral Akşener was a prominent figure among MHP dissidents who have heavily criticized the policies of the MHP's chairman of 20 years, Devlet Bahçeli, after the general elections on June 7 and Nov. 1, 2015.
The intra-party debate ended when the dissidents were dismissed from the party. In relation to the issue, Bahçeli said that the instruments of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) will not be allowed within his party, hinting at Akşener's alleged links to the FETÖ. The Good Party has been defining itself as a centrist party and has accelerated its efforts to promote its agenda for the upcoming 2019 elections. Akşener has also announced that she will run in the 2019 presidential election.
Akşener entered politics with the center-right True Path Party (DYP) as a deputy from northwestern Kocaeli province in 1995, and briefly served as interior minister between November 1996 and June 1997 in the coalition government with the conservative Welfare Party (RP).