Turkish opposition MHP dissidents announce work for new party
ANKARATwo expelled dissident members of the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP), Ümit Özdağ and Yusuf Halaçoğlu, have said they have launched efforts for the formation of a new political party.
“There will be some surprise names in the party,” they said on July 4.
“Efforts have started regarding the formation of a political party constituting a new national center. We are talking about a new party. I am not in the position today to give detailed information about the workings of this political party, whose personnel and program work is still ongoing. But the faster the conditions are outlined, the faster the party will be realized,” Özdağ, who was expelled from the MHP in March, said in a press meeting at parliament.
“The new party will protect the nationalist, conservative and republican values. It will object to a one-man regime and will bring back the parliamentary system. We have made progress on its work. There will be surprise names in the new party. We are not in a conflict regarding who will be the chairman,” said Halaçoğlu.
He made the comments after connecting with local TV channel Kent TV on the phone.
“A mutual understanding has been achieved. The process will officially start in the upcoming days. It is not right for me to reveal any names. We need to conduct meetings,” said Halaçoğlu, adding that he was working with other expelled deputies such as Meral Akşener and Özdağ on the formation of the party.
“The party will be a formation consisting of different people already known to the public. There are people who sympathize with us, including clans in the southeastern regions. There are a wide range of people who want us. The party will be a center-right,” he said.
Former MHP lawmakers Akşener, Özdağ, Sinan Oğan, and Koray Aydın had called for an extraordinary congress and tried to run for MHP leadership last year but saw their attempt stymied by their party and the court system.
Bahçeli, who has been the head of the party since 1997, came under fire over the party’s poor performance in the Nov. 1, 2015 election, in which it won only 11 percent of total votes – only one percent above the threshold to enter parliament – giving it just 40 seats in parliament.