Good Party seeks to prevent unraveling after intraparty fights

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 18.07.2018 20:37

The Good Party (İP) will gather in meetings tomorrow and Saturday to seek ways to prevent the possible unraveling of the party, an issue which has been looming since the pre-June 24 elections period.

News reports have suggested that the İP is divided into three sides, all of which will participate in the meetings in western Afyonkarahisar province to draw a new road map to prevent the dissolution of the party.

Having performed arguably poorly in the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections, the three groups that emerged from within the party will separately explain their views for how the İP should proceed as it reels from a series of resignations across the country.

One wing of the İP claims that the party should not be center-right, but instead a political movement that embraces all of Turkey, suggesting that it redefine its stance as "Turkish center." Another wing claims that the party should focus on its nationalist roots. The third group is rumored to believe that people from different backgrounds should be assigned to posts in local administrations.

Pundits have also said that the absence of party Chairwoman Meral Akşener in Parliament is also a reason behind the lack of unity among İP parliamentarians.

Akşener, who could not be a parliamentarian after opting to run for president and lost, reportedly warned her fellow party members recently about their relationship with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) after an İP deputy kissed MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli's hand - a sign of respect for the elderly in Turkish tradition - on the first day of the new parliamentary term.

The İP had a roller coaster-like period prior to the June 24 elections. Scores of founding party members and several provincial heads resigned from the party after expressing their discontent. The party was also shaken 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.

The latest resignation was İP Deputy Chairperson Ayfer Yılmaz, who left the party last week. Speaking to Turkish media regarding the reasons for her resignation, İP parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Lütfü Türkkan said she had wanted to be assigned to a job in the presidency. Her hopes were in tatters after Akşener could only gather some 7 percent of the vote in the presidential elections, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the elections in the first round with more than 52 percent.

"She was a politician who designed herself to serve in the presidency. The next presidential election is in 5 years. She, therefore, did not want to work in that intense tempo of politics," Türkkan said. The İP is also expected to discuss the many resignations in the party to shed light on the recent intraparty unrest.

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