MHP dissidents mull over forming new party after controversial court decision

MHP dissidents mull over forming new party after controversial court decision

MHP dissidents mull over forming new party after controversial court decision

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A group of dissidents from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has begun mulling over establishing a new political party in the coming months after a local court nixed their plans to change party leadership through an extraordinary convention.   

“The convention was annulled. The hearing only lasted 10 minutes. The court waited for one year to issue this verdict in 10 minutes. The political will of 700 delegates have been ignored,” Meral Akşener, a leading dissident figure in the MHP, tweeted late June 20. Akşener was expelled from the MHP by the party’s long term leader, Devlet Bahçeli, after she openly declared opposition against him. 

The in-house opposition in the MHP, under the leadership of Akşener and other opposing figures, held an extraordinary convention meeting in June 2016 to make necessary changes at the party’s internal regulation to allow leadership change.  Around 700 delegates signed the petition to change the existing regulations of the MHP, but a court ordered the suspension of the execution of the convention decision over an application from the party. 

After one year of examination, the court cancelled the decision taken at the convention, killing the hopes of the dissidents to topple Bahçeli from leadership through the extraordinary convention. 

According to some sources, the dissidents have now begun to consider whether they should form a new political party or to unite under the roof of an already existing party that is eligible to join elections. This decision will be given in the coming months before fall, the sources said. The elections are planned to be held in 2019 if the government decides not to do snap elections in 2018.

“We knew there was no justice in Turkey. This verdict given only in 10 minutes has highlighted this reality once again,” Ümit Özdağ, another senior dissident figure in the MHP, told daily Hürriyet.  

Sinan Oğan, also an MHP dissident, said the court issued this verdict upon the instructions of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The MHP allied with the AKP in the latter’s bid to change the constitution to introduce an executive presidential system. 

“This verdict proves that the judiciary is at the service of the government. Courts that have been given orders cannot cast a shadow on the will of the MHP delegates,” he said.