The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is assessing what led to its crushing defeat at the hands of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Nov. 1 election, MHP head Devlet Bahçeli has said, in his first parliamentary group meeting since the poll.
Admitting that the MHP fell short of expectations in the election, Bahçeli also claimed that the results did not mark a “defeat” for the party. The MHP lost almost two million votes in five months, while the AKP increased its votes by nearly four million.
“We don’t turn a deaf ear to criticism. There are lessons for our party to take from both the June 7 and Nov. 1 votes,” he said on Nov. 17, while also blaming the “election circumstances created by the AKP” for the failure of his party.
The elections were held under “extraordinary circumstances and democracy was violated,” Bahçeli said, describing Turkey as “surrendered to violence.”
Referring to MHP voters who shifted to the AKP the November election, he said the MHP believes they “halfheartedly voted for other parties.”
‘Those asking for early congress are AKP missionaries’
Meanwhile, Bahçeli slammed dissenting voices within the MHP, describing those calling for an early party congress to elect a new leader as “missionaries of the AKP.”
“Those are the ones who want to close out the MHP. They are now gathering around the presidency,” he said, slamming such defectors as “political recruitments” who are “for sale.”
The MHP leader also pointed the finger at President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for refusing to help form a government after June 7, as a coalition government would have “called him to account.”
He similarly criticized the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for giving a “green light” to the AKP, after some of its members suggested they could discuss the powerful presidency governance model for Turkey, which is advocated by the AKP and President Erdoğan.