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New Nationalist Party Faces Signs of Unraveling As Chairwoman Aksener Will Quit

Less than a year after its foundation with great expectations, Turkey’s new nationalist IYI (Good) Party shows signs of unraveling as Meral Aksener decided to step down as chairwoman of the party in the upcoming party congress.

Aksener, whose thrust onto political scene shattered nationalist politics, will not seek re-election in an emergency congress after intraparty fissures occurred at a party meeting at the weekend.

The gathering in the western province of Afyon offered a soul-searching and self-assessment over the mediocre performance in the June 24 elections. The party garnered nearly 10 percent of the votes and entered Parliament thanks to its electoral alliance with three other parties.

When the party devolved into different factions vying to shape the future course of politics to be followed, Aksener attempted to offer her resignation at the scene. But her party friends persuaded Aksener to withdraw her resignation.

In a Twitter post, Aksener informed the public about the decision to hold a new party congress to elect new leadership. And she said she will not be a candidate.

Deputy Chairman Ismail Koncuk later played down rumors and tried to assure the wary party base. “Our chairwoman will be the only candidate [at the congress]. We will continue on our path. There is no resignation” he said in a written statement.

But only two days after his remarks, Aksener went ahead with her earlier announcement and said her decision has not changed over not seeking re-election at the congress, leaving her newfound party in a state of disarray.

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