İYİ Party leader Akşener denies any chance of alliance with Erdoğan
Gamze Kolcu - TRABZON
İYİ (Good) Party leader and presidential candidate Meral Akşener has refuted any prospect of an alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying AKP officials had offered her a position in the cabinet but she turned it down.
“I was offered a ministry after the June 7 election [in 2015]. What I was heard was deputy prime minister. The paper [to prove it] is still here. They offered it to me but I rejected it,” Akşener told reporters in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on June 9.
“[Joining the ‘People’s Alliance’] was also impossible for me. I cannot say ‘we say this’ without receiving the opinion of my party because we discuss everything very thoroughly. We make decisions on everything,” she added.
Her comments came in response to a question of whether she would support the “People’s Alliance” of the ruling AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) if Erdoğan and Muharrem İnce, the candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), end up racing in a second round in the presidential elections.
Akşener said the İYİ Party’s grassroots members are uncomfortable with rumors of any possible support to the AKP and the MHP.
“It seems clear there will be a second round. The discussion is about which name will pass to that second round. Rumors have stemmed from the claim that if I reach the second round I will make an agreement with Mr. Tayyip,” she said.
“But my personal opinion is that I will not stand behind such a thing,” Akşener said, recalling that the CHP, the İYİ Party, the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) agreed to form an opposition coalition called the “Nation Alliance” to form a “strengthened parliamentary democratic system.”
The İYİ Party leader also stated that she was approached by AKP officials when she was still a member of the MHP after the June 7, 2015 election, in which the AKP had lost its parliamentary majority.
“[AKP Istanbul deputy] Metin Külünk came to my house. He said he was sent by Mr. Tayyip. I don’t know if he really sent him or not. In the end, it was an offer. But I said no,” she said.
Akşener blasted the AKP-MHP alliance as being “like a forced marriage” based simply on the AKP’s need for MHP votes in the presidential elections for Erdoğan’s candidacy.
“Erdoğan wants MHP votes in the presidential election. Bahçeli wants to be in the parliament. Will the alliance collapse? I think after July 8 [the second round of presidential elections] everyone will revise everything,” she said.
“A change in the MHP will depend on the number of lawmakers they have gained,” she added.