MHP leader rejects claims his party lost votes at referendum

MHP leader rejects claims his party lost votes at referendum

MHP leader rejects claims his party lost votes at referendum

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Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has rejected claims that his party lost votes at the referendum, slamming commentators who argued that the MHP roots offered little support to the “yes” camp. 

“Those who have been looking for a conspiracy, a trick or a trap about us, were disappointed on April 16. The Nationalist Movement Party took responsibility and said ‘yes.’ It made an intervention for its state, defended its ‘yes’ decision and stood behind it,” Bahçeli said at the first parliamentary group meeting after the constitutional referendum on April 18.

The total votes of the “yes” camp composed of the MHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were 51.4 percent, although the two parties scored around 62 percent in the last 2015 polls.

The MHP leader also slammed commentators who interpreted the referendum result as a general loss in MHP votes.

“As the ballot were opened and results started to be revealed on the evening of April 16, some rootless, characterless, unprincipled journalists and some provocateurs disguised as expert commentators began to target the MHP. They almost attempted to reveal which ballot voted for which party,” he said.

“They disgracefully fabricated [the results], stating that 80 percent of our brothers who devoted themselves to this party did not vote,” he said. 

“How could they infer which party and which point of view our citizens who decided to give a ‘yes’ vote are from? Where do they find the courage and authority to speculate on the nationalist party?” he asked.

He specifically criticized daily Milliyet columnist Mehmet Tezkan who said, “The actual loser of the referendum is the MHP,” in his column on April 17.

“One loser, a rotten person, said the MHP is the loser of the referendum. Who are you, you immoral and boneless person! How can you say that 80 percent of our base said ‘no?’” Bahçeli said, urging the Supreme Election Board (YSK) to reveal the party affiliation of referendum voters in order to dismiss the accusations.

“It is my open call. The Supreme Election Board has to conduct urgent work. If there is a possibility, if there is a mechanism which can measure which party the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes are affiliated with, the number of MHP voters who chose ‘yes’ in the ballots should be revealed,” he added.