New candidates using democratic rights: MHP leader
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli on Dec. 1, 2015. AA PhotoNew candidates are exercising their “democratic rights” in calling for an early congress at the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), party leader Devlet Bahçeli said Dec. 1.
After former MHP deputy Meral Akşener announced her candidacy for the leadership of the party in the wake of a dramatic fall in its vote in the Nov. 1 parliamentary election, Bahçeli likened calls for the early congress to those at the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
“Demands for an extraordinary congress have been issued by some people since Nov. 1. That is their democratic right,” he said, adding that 13 figures were pursuing the leadership of the MHP and that others would also put their name forward.
Bahçeli suggested that one of the names would be assigned to the MHP as “a political figure from the Fethullah Gülen movement.”
On Nov. 30, Akşener called for an extraordinary party congress. The statement came about a month after the MHP saw a sharp fall in its vote in the Nov. 1 election from the June 7 election results.
The MHP gained 12 percent in the November election, a sharp decrease from the 16 percent the party received five months earlier. Many political pundits suggested that the MHP had lost a considerable share of its support to the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which won nearly 50 percent of the vote in the November snap elections.
Sinan Oğan, a former MHP deputy, also called for an extraordinary party congress in order to announce his leadership candidacy on Nov. 21.
Oğan announced his candidacy at a press conference in Ankara, while touching on the MHP’s sensitivity toward Syrian Turkmens and the need for all parties to undertake joint actions.