MHP leader slams CHP for labeling YSK judges as ‘gang’
Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has slammed the main opposition chairman for accusing seven of the 11 judges on the Supreme Election Board (YSK) of “starting a gang” because the seven cast deciding votes to scrap the Istanbul municipal poll results.
“I call on you, the so-called chairman of a party and a member of parliament, who call the justices a gang, apply for lifting your parliamentary immunity, and I will be the first to vote in favor of [it),” Bahçeli said at his parliamentary group meeting on May 8, referring to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Bahçeli implied that Kılıçdaroğlu’s accusations against the judges constitute a crime but that he uses his immunity as a shield. The YSK had decided to annul and redo Istanbul mayoral elections in a 7-to-4 vote.
The CHP leader read the names of these seven judges at his party’s group meeting on May 7 and lashed out at them in a strongly-worded statement for voting in favor of canceling Istanbul polls.
“Naming these seven members of the YSK and describing them as a gang was not appropriate. I am of the opinion that this statement constitutes a crime,” Bahçeli told reporters after the meeting. He suggested that Kılıçdaroğlu should apply to Parliament for removal of his immunity. Members of Parliament may not be prosecuted unless they are stripped of immunity.
“If he thinks he is right in his statements, then he should apply for the removal of his immunity. I express my readiness to vote in favor of this,” he added.
MHP to actively campaign for Yıldırım
Bahçeli reiterated that he and the MHP will actively campaign for the People’s Alliance Istanbul candidate, Binali Yıldırım, for the June 23 polls. He will set up his headquarters in Istanbul until the elections.
“We will exert all our efforts with the participation of all our organizations in Istanbul,” Bahçeli said. “We will not let the future of Istanbul to be wasted. I believe that the People’s Alliance will claim a well-deserved success through a clear election in Istanbul.”