Court halts MHP’s extraordinary congress process
ANKARAAn Ankara court has decided to halt the extraordinary party congress process of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as a precaution, MHP deputy leader Oktay Öztürk announced on April 29.
Another Ankara court had previously appointed a three-member panel to organize an extraordinary congress, accepting the demands of the dissident MHP members, to which the party headquarters have appealed.
“Plenty of appeals were filed by our members from various levels. As a result of these appeals, there are two court decisions that reached our headquarters,” said Öztürk, while adding that out of five precaution decisions, two were given in Tosya district of the Black Sea province of Kastamonu and the Gemerek district of the Central Anatolian province of Sivas.
“The extraordinary party congress process was stopped until the examination of the Supreme Court of Appeals as a precaution,” Öztürk also said, while adding that they are expecting the number of the precaution decisions to rise next week.
Meanwhile, Sinan Oğa,n a former MHP lawmaker who has already expressed his intention to run for the party leadership, criticized the decision, saying the precaution decision is “unlawful.”
“We won’t let the palace use our party as support,” said Oğan, referring to the presidential palace.
The three-member panel, consisting of Mehmet Bilgiç, Ayhan Erel and Ali Sağır, previously announced that the MHP will hold the extraordinary congress on May 15, which elicited an immediate response from party leader Devlet Bahçeli.
“An extraordinary congress will not be held. We can’t expect sincerity from a person who wants an extraordinary congress rather than waiting for the scheduled one,” Bahçeli said on April 12.
MHP dissidents have criticized Bahçeli since the MHP’s poor showing in the Nov. 1, 2015 election, in which it only won 11 percent of the country’s votes and 40 seats in parliament.
Bahçeli has led the party since July 1997, but MHP dissidents have collected enough delegate votes to hold an extraordinary convention to challenge the party’s leadership.
Former MHP lawmakers Meral Akşener, Sinan Oğan, Koray Aydın and Ümit Özdağ have already expressed their intention to run for the party leadership, but their attempts to hold a convention had been blocked by party headquarters.
The call for an extraordinary convention was taken to court for a final decision.