What happened at the İYİ Party congress?
The İYİ (Good) Party was founded by Meral Akşener and the İYİ Party saved Akşener.
Akşener resigned after the June 24 elections. The party members brought her back.
They elected her as their joint candidate. They enabled her to determine the cadres with which she wanted to rule the party and voted for her list.
As such, they presented her with a party that looked like a rose garden without thorns. Akşener came out of the party’s extraordinary congress last Sunday, Aug. 12 stronger than the day she had founded the party.
If the act of resignation was a tactic, Akşener proved she is a good tactician.
As a result, she has gained control of the party.
Akşener was unable to design the party the way she wanted in the initial founding phases. There were names with which she fought with within the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). She had to pay the debt of gratitude.
With yesterday’s congress, this chapter is now closed. Akşener made a strong comeback, but she no longer has any excuses.
Does that mean the İYİ Party became equally stronger?
The kind of enthusiasm and mood prior to the elections and also witnessed during the previous congresses were nowhere to be seen.
The İYİ Party means Akşener, but of the 1,123 delegates that participated in the congress, Akşener received 881 votes. Some 242 delegates who did not vote for Akşener gave a signal.
In the process of Akşener’s decision to stay or go, the party suffered from the anxiety of dissolving. That is why the theme of the congress was chosen as “We are just now beginning.”
Akşener felt the need to explain why she resigned:
“We received as many votes as 50-year-old parties but we preferred to be tested by our own claim. I assumed responsibility and withdrew,” she said, as the votes received by the İYİ Party were lower than expectations. The votes she received in the presidential elections were also lower than the votes the İYİ Party received.
Since she was the target of criticism from her own party after the elections, she played the card of resignation. “I said, ‘rather than becoming an issue of controversy in my own party, I will put an end and withdraw.’”
“I surrendered to your decision. I bow before your will. You said come and I came,” she said, explaining her return.
Akşener had some messages to those within her party eyeing the MHP. She was irritated by some parliamentarians who shook hands with MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli during the opening of parliament.
This meant her leadership was challenged and the party she had founded against the MHP was harmed.
“I know what political politeness is. But this is not political politeness,” she had said. Her words were interpreted as showing the door to some people within the party. And she continued that approach during the congress as well.
Blood feud with the MHP
Akşener has a fight with two people: One is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the other is Bahçeli. She held a strenuous campaign targeting Erdoğan, but the result is there. It seems she has not learned any lessons from the elections. Her words about the MHP and Bahçeli show the blood feud between the MHP and the İYİ Party will not end anytime soon.