Former MHP MP Akşener to stand as presidential candidate from new party for 2019 elections

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Meral Akşener, a former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmaker who later became a dissident, will stand as a presidential candidate for the 2019 elections from a party she is set to establish in October, former MHP lawmaker Koray Aydın has announced.

“Our presidential candidate for the 2019 elections will be Meral Akşener,” Aydın said in an interview on private broadcaster Fox TV on Aug. 23.

A former MHP lawmaker for Trabzon, Aydın had resigned from the party on Aug. 22 and announced his allegiance to a group of MPs who had renegaded from the MHP.

Several MHP lawmakers had resigned or were dismissed after the MHP formed an alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for a constitutional amendment that would grant sweeping powers to the president.

Among those names was Akşener who had been leading the dissident movement within the MHP before transforming the opposition into establishing a new party.

“We are working on officially establishing the party in late October,” she said on Aug. 20.

With the announcement of Aydın, Akşener became the second name as a presidential candidate after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the 2019 presidential elections.

According to Aydın, in public surveys, which were carried out by their group and included Akşener, Erdoğan’s name could not prevail as number one.

Erdoğan was the only name so far standing as a candidate for the 2019 presidential election.

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