President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may find a new challenger to his presidency in 2019. Seasoned right-winger and former Minister of the Interior Meral Akşener, has hinted that she may take a run at the Presidential elections in 2019.
After much anticipation Akşener formed the ‘Good Party’ on October 25 before holding a meeting with founders and followers of the newly-formed political party.
“Turkey will be good,” Akşener said in her first address to her followers, referring to the name of the party. “Turkey and its people are tired. The state has corroded. Public order has dissolved. There is no other way but to change the entire political climate,” she added.
Former member of the Nationalist Movement party (MHP) Akşener and some other deputies were expelled from the party, following disagreements with party chairman Devlet Bahçeli, who has supported Erdoğan on key issues in recent months, including the shift to an executive presidential system.
Dissidents led by Akşener, who attempted to hold an extraordinary convention of the MHP in a challenge to Bahçeli in 2016, were denied the opportunity in a controversial decision taken by the court. This prompted Bahçeli, who is an old hand in politics, to form her own party. She was rapidly joined by four MHP representatives and one member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), immediately ensuring the party five seats in parliament.
Akşener is targeting target centre-right, nationalist and democratic voters through a manifesto designed to appeal to different political perspectives.
“It’s time to say new things. Yes, we have major problems. But Turkey has enough powers to resolve them. We have hopes and dreams. We want a prosperous and just Turkey. We want a free society. We want a happy Turkey,” said Akşener.
Democracy in Turkey is “under threat”, she said “Good is justice, good is determination. Good is hope, good is the future, knowledge. Good is richness, courage. Good means civilization and only the brave will pave this road,” Akşener said.