Turmoil in MHP continues as district election board rules against snap congress

Turmoil in MHP continues as district election board rules against snap congress

Turmoil in MHP continues as district election board rules against snap congress

AFP photo

Turmoil continues within the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as a district election board in Ankara ruled to prevent a snap congress amid an ongoing intra-party power struggle where dissidents criticize the party leadership over its disappointing performance in the elections, lagging behind the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). 

“As a stay of execution was issued on amendments to the party’s internal regulations until the conclusion of a case [brought against it], the clause in the MHP bylaws which state ‘elections cannot be hold in snap congresses,’ is still valid,” the Çankaya district election board has said in its decision. 

An Ankara civil court issued a stay of execution regarding changes made to the MHP bylaws during an extraordinary party convention held in Ankara on June 19, which was not recognized by the party’s seating chair Devlet Bahçeli. 

The actual aim of the convention was to remove the article which made a leadership change at an extraordinary convention impossible. However, during the congress, the opposition bloc changed 14 articles of the internal regulations instead of the previously announced single amendment at the congress, sparking criticism from Bahçeli and his aides. 

The court’s ruling deemed all amendments, including the most important one which enables change in the leadership, ineffective until the trial reaches a verdict, the election board said. 

The elected chairman of the MHP extraordinary convention on July 10, the party’s İzmir deputy Müsavat Dervişoğlu slammed the decision and said it served as a litmus test for the Bahçeli administration’s “sincerity.”

If the MHP headquarters is sincere about its request for an extraordinary congress with elections, they could either withdraw the case or resign, paving the way for a snap congress in either way, the lawmaker said.

“If they trust, believe and respect the nationalist idealist will, they should not escape from this sincerity test,” he added. 

Bahçeli on June 12 told MHP members that he designated July 10 as the date of an extraordinary grand congress, while still accusing dissidents of supporting a “plot” targeting the nationalist party.

Meral Akşener, Sinan Oğan, Ümit Özdağ and Koray Aydın are regarded as four prominent candidates for the leadership of the MHP.