Former presidential candidate will run for the MHP
ANKARAEkmeleddin İhsanoğlu, a former presidential candidate and the former head of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), will run for parliament from the ranks of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in a surprising move.
Hoping to increase its votes in the June polls through a strong nationalist rhetoric in the course of the ongoing Kurdish peace process, the MHP has partly renewed its team, as Chairman Devlet Bahçeli kept his closest aides on the list.
İhsanoğlu appeared as the most surprising name, as the veteran diplomat was defeated in last year’s presidential bid against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan despite being the common nominee of both the MHP and the Republican People’s Party (CHP). İhsanoğlu will run for parliament in Istanbul.
Another prominent figure that has recently joined the MHP is Durmuş Yılmaz, the former governor of the Central Bank and advisor to former President Abdullah Gül. Prof. Ümit Özdağ and Koray Aydın, two MHP members who had challenged Bahçeli for the leadership of the party in the past, will run for parliament in Gaziantep and Trabzon, respectively. Former minister Ahad Andican, the MHP’s mayoral candidate for Ankara, Mevlüt Karakaya, and former football player Saffet Sancaklı will also run for parliament.
Deputy leaders Oktay Vural and Celal Adan and 13 other member of the MHP’s executive board have secured another term in parliament.