Unraveling looms within opposition Good Party as Parliament begins

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 10.07.2018 00:36

The far-right Good Party (İP) is continuing to unravel at full steam. After İP Istanbul Deputy Hayati Arkaz kissed Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli's hand, a traditional Turkish way of showing respect to elders, on the first day of the new parliamentary term over the weekend, a heated debate began within the İP.

Also, other İP deputies were seen exchanging warm words with MHP politicians. The İP's deputy chair and İzmir deputy, Müsavat Dervişoğlu, was also criticized for being too close to Bahçeli.

İP Chairwoman Meral Akşener, who can't be a parliamentary deputy after opting to run for president and lost, reportedly warned her fellow party members about their relationship with the MHP.

The MHP lost some of its members following a legal and leadership battle in the party that began after the Nov. 1, 2015 elections, where the party barely crossed the 10 percent national elections threshold and lost half of its deputies compared to the June 7, 2015 elections.

During the process, then-MHP deputies Meral Akşener, Sinan Oğan and Koray Aydın, were the main names that raised their voices against Bahçeli, who has ruled the party since 1997. The group was later joined by the party's then-Vice Chairman Ümit Özdağ and a number of other deputies. As they failed to dislodge Bahçeli after a heated judicial process, they left the party in 2016. In October 2017, the İP was founded by the dissidents under the leadership of Akşener.

The MHP expects an unraveling in the İP as well. Speaking in a party organization in western Manisa province earlier this month, MHP Deputy Chairman Erkan Akçay said that İP had failed to obtain a satisfying result in the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 despite party officials defining it as success for themselves. "If they want to show off with the votes they received from MHP, let them. However, most of them will return to their home, the Nationalist Movement Party," Akçay said.

The İP had a tumultuous period in the run-up to the June 24 elections as well. Scores of founding party members and several provincial heads resigned from the party due to their uneasiness regarding party policies.

The party was shaken to its core after Yusuf Halaçoğlu fell apart with the party administration. One of the five İP members in the last Parliament, Halaçoğlu, complained about his party's failure to nominate him in the June 24 elections.

"I asked to be nominated for İzmir or Ankara because my wife was assigned to work in İzmir and we have two small children," he said after declining to run in his hometown of Kayseri.

Yet, his wish fell on deaf ears and he was furious.

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