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400 more MHP members resign from party over alliance with ruling party

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Four hundred members of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) Bolu provincial branch have resigned over differences with party leadership, which they claim has entered into an alliance with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

According to the T24 website, a group of MHP Bolu provincial branch members held a press briefing in Bolu on Thursday where they announced that 400 MHP members had resigned from the party.

Former MHP Bolu provincial chairman Mustafa Özdemir told reporters during the briefing that they had decided to part ways with the MHP since its leadership had aligned with the AKP, which has been highly critical of MHP policies for the last 15 years.

When asked about whether they plan to join any new political party, Özdemir said they would announce it in the coming days.

Hundreds of former MHP members, including former ministers and deputies, recently resigned from the party to join former MHP deputy Meral Akşener in her efforts to establish the new “Center Democrat Party.”

After MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli aligned with the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on several issues, including introducing a presidential system of governance in Turkey following the Nov. 1, 2015 elections, several MHP deputies and political figures either were expelled or resigned from the party due to differences in political views with the party administration.

Upon adopting a critical stance against Bahçeli and standing as a candidate for party leadership against him, Akşener was expelled by the MHP disciplinary committee in September 2016 by unanimous vote.

Akşener recently announced that a new political party that is to be “neither right, nor left” would be formed under her leadership in the early fall of 2017.

Koray Aydın, who also recently resigned from the MHP, announced during an interview with HaberTürk in late August that the new party to be founded by Akşener would most likely be named the “Center Democrat Party.”

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