Controversial AKP members pushed out of MP candidate list
ANKARAThe Justice and Development Party (AKP) has surprised analysts by excluding a number of controversial figures from its candidate list for the Nov. 1 elections.
AKP lawmaker Abrurrahim Boynukalın, who was filmed delivering a fiery speech in front of the daily Hürriyet headquarters in Istanbul amid a violent attack on Sept. 6, was not included in the party’s candidate list for the Nov. 1 elections despite his recent rise in the party’s bodies.
An initial attack and a second consecutive one less than 48 hours later triggered a public outcry and international reaction, as Hürriyet vowed to continue its independent editorial policy in spite of threats.
Boynukalın, who was seen in another video explicitly threatening Hürriyet journalists, was elected to the AKP’s steering committee at the party’s congress on Sept. 12. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, however, had said he did not approve of Boynukalın’s remarks, as Hürriyet placed a legal complaint against Boynukalın.
MP Uğur Işılak, a singer-turned-politician who was filmed as he fell asleep in a parliamentary session, was also excluded from the AKP’s list.
“I’m not going to the parliament to sleep,” Işılak had told daily Türkiye before the June 7 general election, vowing to work tirelessly to improve legislation on culture and arts. His promise was broken in the third session of the new parliament.
MP Markar Eseyan, an Armenian-Turkish journalist, was included on the list once again but he was pushed down to 14th from 12th in Istanbul’s second electoral district, a spot that risks another term for the politician.
The AKP managed to win 12 seats in the district at the June 7 election, which failed to produce a single-party government or a coalition, prompting the reelection on Nov. 1.