İYİ Party leader Akşener confident about beating election threshold
İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has said Turkey’s 10 percent election threshold is no concern for her newly founded movement, adding that she did not expect the lowering of the threshold.
“Polls suggest our vote is near 20 percent. The percentage of people who say they will vote for us in any case is 13 percent,” daily Sözcü quoted Akşener saying on Dec. 11, one day after she was officially elected as the party’s leader in its debut congress.
Akşener, an experienced right-wing politician and former interior minister, established her long-anticipated political party on Oct. 25, hinting at a run for Turkey’s presidency against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2019.
Akşener and some other deputies were expelled from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) amid disagreements with MHP Chair Devlet Bahçeli, who has sided with Erdoğan on key issues in recent months, including the shift to an executive presidential system.
With its support apparently dropping in polls, the MHP stirred a debate last month about the threshold to enter parliament ahead of the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 2019.
Responding to a question on the issue, Akşener said she has no expectations about any change in the threshold.
“We don’t need it either,” she added.
Amid speculation that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will move to bring forward the elections to 2018, the government has ruled out any plans for snap polls.
Since its foundation the İYİ Party has visited many provinces across Turkey in the short space of time, Akşener said, adding that they witnessed “unemployment, disappointment and big problems in agriculture” during these trips.