Turkey's Aksener signals candidacy for MHP leadership

Former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Meral Aksener calls for emergency party congress, signalling that she may run for post

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Meral Aksener, the former Istanbul deputy of the opposition National Movement Party, or MHP, held a press conference in Istanbul on November 30, 2015

Former Parliament deputy chairwoman and former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Meral Aksener called for an extraordinary party meeting to elect a new party chairman, signalling her candidacy for party leadership.

Speaking at a press conference in Istanbul, Aksener said "I believe wholeheartedly that senior delegations should hold the congress and initiate our march to power.”

Aksener also signalled that she may run for the post, saying “me and my friends are ready to take on any task that nationalist will assigns to us.”

Emphasising that their request for an extraordinary congress is not about revenge, Aksener said their aim is to take the party into power.

“The party must not be stuck in the past and lose the future," Aksener added.

The criticism about the party’s leadership aroused after recent election results which caused a big loss in party’s vote rates.

On Nov. 1 snap elections, MHP’s votes dropped from 16 percent to 11.9 percent when compared to the June 7 election.

The party lost one fourth of the votes - approximately two million votes out of the 7.5 million votes it gained from previous elections - and nearly half of it’s representatives in parliament.

The MHP also lost its spot as the third largest group in parliament.

Before Aksener,another former members of the party -Sinan Ogan and Koray Aydin- had called for the extraordinary party congress.

"I invite Mr. Chairman [Devlet Bahceli] to respect the law [...] and call on him to take our party to an extraordinary congress as soon as possible," Ogan told reporters in a press conference in Ankara on Nov. 21.

Current party leader Devlet Bahceli has been chairman of the MHP since 1997.

Under the chairmanship of Bahceli, the MHP has lost at least five general elections.

TRTWorld, AA