Visually impaired former AKP deputy resigns from central board, slams disabled policies
ANKARA – Cihan News Agency
Lokman Ayva has been elected twice to the Parliament from the AKP in the 2002 and 2007 elections. HÜRRİYET PhotoA visually impaired member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Lokman Ayva, announced his resignation from the party’s Central Decision and Administration Board (MKYK) on April 13, in protest at the low number of disabled candidates nominated by the AKP in the March 30 local elections.
One of the AKP’s founding members, Ayva was elected to Parliament twice, becoming the first blind parliamentarian in Turkey’s history.
However, he criticized the party administration for not keeping its promise to nominate at least one disabled candidate for each city council in every Turkish province in the March 30 elections.
“If they [the party administration] avoid giving even one seat to a disabled person in city councils, then they are free to take my seat at the party’s MKYK,” he said.
According to Ayva, the “golden age” for the disabled in politics ended in February 2014 ahead of the local elections. “In 2001, two of the AK Party’s 74 founding members were disabled. In 2004, there were 15 disabled members of city councils in Istanbul municipalities. This number dropped to 13 in 2009, and is now only four after the latest elections,” he said.
He added that he had decided to resign from the MKYK on Feb. 18 but waited until after the municipal elections to officially announce his resignation.