Center right shaken by resignations
The center-right ANAVATAN and the DP are having difficulties with candidate nominations after their attempt to merge failed.
ANAVATAN has not formed a complete list of nominations in 34 districts and DP is falling behind in 12. Like ANAVATAN, it appears as though the resignation wave following the end of alliance between center-right parties is affecting the DP. From the DP lists, Mehmet Ali Bayar, Sümer Oral, Hasan Subaşı, Kamer Genç and Deniz Ülke Arıboğan have all withdrawn their candidacies. Reacting to the nomination lists, Party General Auditor and Central Executive Board (MYK) member Rıza Akçalı has also pulled out. Additionally deputy party chairmen Saffet Arıkan Bedük and Binhan Oğuz have announced they will not run for election on the DP list.
Among new DP nominations, however, leader Ağar has listed celebrity Şebnem Kısaparmak at the top of the Kastamonu candidate list.
Outside the DP the resignation wave is still not over for ANAVATAN. Following the resignation of former party leader Mesut Yılmaz, his brother Turgut Yılmaz was joined by Sühan Özkan, Cavit Kavak, Nesrin Nas and Abdülkadir Baş. Former Prime Minister Yılmaz has filed to run as an independent candidate in his hometown of Rize.
When asked whether the 10 percent election threshold would affect his party, DP leader Mehmet Ağar underlined their confidence in being able to exceed the threshold. Pressed further to discuss possible actions if his party could not pass the threshold, Ağar pledged to leave his position at the head of the party.
More concerned with the threshold, Genç resigned from the DP to run as an independent candidate in Tunceli. In an effort to prevent further dissolution and restore confidence in the party, DP Deputy Chairman Celal Adan released a written statement in which he called for all party members to unite under the party’s symbol. Re-emphasizing the DP’s commitment to an integrated center right, Adan asserted his party would never retreat from that goal.
Following the collapse of an integration attempt with the DP, ANAVATAN is optimistic the threshold concern will provide the impetus for a partnership with the Grand Unity Party (BBP). If the leaders of the two parties can finalize an agreement by the June 8 nomination deadline, they will participate in the election as an alliance.