Akşener to attend party’s executive board meeting despite intention to relinquish chairmanship

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Ercin Top / Anadolu Agency

İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has said she would be at party headquarters on Monday to attend an executive board meeting, an announcement coming after her decision to quit as party chairwoman, BBC Turkish service reported.

Following presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, Akşener called for an emergency convention to change the top management of the party, also announcing she would not be a candidate for leadership.

Despite her decision, party officials, including spokesperson Aytun Çıray and vice chairpersons Koray Aydın and Ümit Özdağ, said they would not nominate another person for the position and would try to convince her to remain as chairwoman.

They had a meeting with Akşener on Saturday before she announced her decision to attend the board meeting, which was considered by the Turkish media as a sign of her remaining in power.

A group of İYİ Party supporters gathered at Akşener’s house in İstanbul, chanting slogans to convince her to change her decision to leave, tying white muslin to the door of her house, a symbol of her “Anatolian motherhood,” as they called her “Mother Meral.”

Akşener first conveyed her message about attending the party meeting on Monday to the crowd, saying the neighbors had gotten tired of the demonstrations.

Akşener was the party’s presidential candidate, garnering around 7 percent of the vote, almost 3 percent lower than her party’s share in the general election.

According to Turkish election law, a presidential candidate cannot also run for a seat in parliament, forcing Akşener to stay out of active politics.

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