18 C
Frankfurt am Main

Turkish nationalist leader Akşener calls it quits after election defeat

Must read

Meral Akşener, leader of the nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party, has decided not to seek re-election to party leadership following blame for the party’s failure in local elections held on March 31.

Akşener announced in a statement on X on Monday that she would not run for party leader at the extraordinary party congress on April 27.

The extraordinary congress was called after the İYİ Party sustained a defeat in the recent local elections, winning only 3.7 percent of the nationwide vote, comprising only one provincial municipality, with 23 district and seven town municipalities.

The İYİ Party had been a member of an opposition election alliance called the Table of Six and received 9.9 percent of the nationwide vote and 44 seats in parliament in the May general election.

The party left the alliance following the May election, when the opposition bloc candidate, former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, was defeated.

Akşener refused to ally with the CHP for the March 31 local elections. Her party instead nominated its own candidates in all provinces.

She said in a September interview that based on her experience, she believes election alliances damage the country and that she planned to avoid forming such alliances for the local elections.

Akşener also said her party would return to its factory settings, adding that it had not been established to get CHP candidates elected.

In her statement on Monday Akşener said that she takes responsibility for her party’s refusal to take part in an election alliance for the local elections and was ready to “pay the price” for its consequences.

She said her party would conduct a self-evaluation based on the results of the local elections and determine its path for the 2028 elections during the upcoming congress.

The party’s failure in the local elections led to resignations within the İYİ Party ranks and growing calls for Akşener’s resignation.

Following Akşener’s statement on Monday, some İYİ Party executives, such as deputy group chairman Müsavat Dervişoğlu, as well as lawmaker Koray Aydın have announced that they will run as candidates for party leadership.

The İYİ Party was established by Akşener, a former member of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in 2017 as an alternative for nationalists and center-right Turkish voters after she parted ways with the MHP.

The İYİ Party was able to enter parliament in the 2018 general election thanks to its alliance with the CHP, which helped it circumvent a 10 percent election threshold. Akşener ran against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential election in 2018 but was defeated.

An influential figure in Turkish politics, Akşener served as interior minister from November 1996 through June 1997. She has been accused of having links to mafia groups as well as a role in the unsolved murders and enforced disappearances that were frequent occurrences in the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeast in the 1990s.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News