Right-wing opposition İYİ Party re-elects Akşener as chair

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Meral Aksener, leader and presidential candidate of the Turkish opposition 'Good Party' (IYI) speaks during an election campaign meeting in Ankara, on May 30, 2018. Turkey to hold snap elections on 24 June. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Turkey’s right-wing opposition İYİ (Good) Party held an emergency convention on Sunday and re-elected its leader, Meral Akşener, as chairperson, BBC Turkish service reported.

Akşener had decided to resign from the post in view of this year’s presidential and parliamentary election results; however, the party’s executive board convinced her to stay.

“I yielded to your decision. You said ‘come’ and I came,” Akşener said in announcing her decision to again run for leadership during the convention.

The İYİ Party has 1,123 delegates from across Turkey, of whom 881 voted for Akşener, with only 888 of them participating in the election.

Akşener had said she made the decision to resign in accordance with her personal principles and the understanding of democracy she wants for Turkey.

“After that moment, I didn’t interfere [with the executive board]. The party group put on a performance against my decision and became insistent,” she said.

While the İYİ Party board decided to stick with Akşener’s leadership, three prominent founding members of the party resigned last week because they felt “betrayed.” They said it showed authoritarian leadership was a problem for the party.

During her speech at the emergency convention, Akşener also weighed in on the recent currency crisis in Turkey, stressing that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s cost to the country was becoming heavier.

The İYİ Party garnered almost 10 percent of the vote in the parliamentary election on June 24, while its leader Akşener received around 7 percent in the presidential race.

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