Former MHP deputy hints at candidacy for party leadership
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Former nationalist party deputy Meral Akşener during a press conference on Nov. 30, 2015. AA PhotoFormer nationalist party deputy Meral Akşener has hinted at her candidacy for the leadership of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in the wake of a dramatic fall in the MHP vote in the Nov. 1 parliamentary election.
“We are ready to accept any responsibilities coming from the will of idealists,” Akşener said at a press conference at a hotel in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district on Nov. 30 when asked if she would declare her candidacy for the MHP leadership. “Idealists” is a term commonly used by the MHP to refer to the MHP’s grassroots.
Calling for an extraordinary party congress, Akşener said nobody was more important than the MHP’s values.
“The MHP is not an ordinary party,” she added.
Akşener said her call for an extraordinary party congress was not any kind of defiance, but a mass movement to upgrade the party.
“We cannot lose our future by holding on to the past,” she said.
The statement came about a month after the MHP saw a sharp fall in its vote in the Nov. 1 election from the June 7 election results.
The MHP gained 12 percent in the November election, a sharp decrease from the 16 percent the party received 5 months earlier. Many political pundits suggested that the MHP had lost a considerable share of its support to the Justice and Development Party (AKP), who won nearly 50 percent of the vote in the November snap elections.
Formerly, Sinan Oğan, a former MHP deputy, had also called for an extraordinary party congress in order to announce his leadership candidacy on Nov. 21.
Oğan announced his candidacy at a press conference in Ankara, while pontificating on the MHP’s sensitivity to Syrian Turkmens and the need for all parties to undertake joint actions.