Akşener confirms she will not run for İYİ Party leadership

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/ AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Meral Akşener, who recently resigned as leader of the İYİ (Good) Party, on Wednesday said her decision not to run for chairmanship of the party at an emergency convention is final.

“My decision not to be a candidate [for chairperson of the party] at the convention is definite,” Akşener tweeted.

Akşener also said she believes a new party administration will be an important step for institutionalizing the party and for success in local elections in 2019.

The party will hold an emergency convention in August.

“With the authority bestowed on me by our party bylaws, I have decided to call a congress for elections. I will not be a candidate at the congress. I wish success to my colleagues who run,” Akşener tweeted on Sunday.

The decision came after a two-day party meeting to evaluate last month’s presidential and parliamentary elections results.

Akşener was seen as a strong challenger to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the election campaign, but Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce outperformed her with his massive rallies.

In the general election, Akşener’s İYİ Party garnered 9.96 percent of the vote, and since presidential candidates cannot simultaneously run for a parliamentary seat she stayed out of parliament.

However İYİ Party officials, including Vice Chairman Koray Aydın, stated that they would again nominate Akşener for the party’s top position.

Spokesperson Aytun Çıray on Monday held a press conference at party headquarters in Ankara, stating that Akşener’s decision to resign over underachievement is “rare in Turkish history.”

According to Muharrem Sarıkaya, a columnist for the Habertürk news website, Akşener decided to resign over some party officials’ social media posts about her.

 

Some İYİ Party supporters gathered on Sunday in front of Akşener’s house asking her not to leave.

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