AK Party challenger?

Parliament was a-buzz with rumors last week of a new party on the horizon


Anew website called “yenibirpar­ti.org”, meaning ‘a new party,’ sent shockwaves through the parliament’s corridors because claims about 11th President Abdullah Gul and ex-prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu establishi­ng a new center right party, which were among the political scenarios in 2019 at the end of new year, re-emerged. However, it was quickly learned that the yenibirpar­ti.org web site had no connection to Gul or Davutoglu.

But this situation has not put to rest the expectatio­ns of a new formation in politics. The result of the March 31 elections will determine the starting point of the new party. There are different rumors in the parliament about how the new party may be modeled.

According to one scenario, Abdullah Gul, who has so far avoided direct confrontat­ion with President Erdogan, will give behind-the-scenes support for the new party under the leadership of Ali Babacan, a former Deputy Prime Minister. In another scenario, independen­t of Gul and Babacan, Ahmet Davutoğlu, the former Prime Minister, will try to form a new party.

In another scenario, all three, who currently operate independen­tly, will come together and give life to a new center-right party under one roof. The scenarios being rumored are not limited to these. The statements made by Felicity Party Chairperso­n, Temel Karamollao­glu, are also remarkable. Karamollao­glu invited Abdullah Gul, Ahmet Davutoglu and Ali Babacan to gather together under the roof of Felicity Party, saying: “Our door is open to everyone. Here they can do politics.”

AK Party sources say they are aware of the movement around these three names. For the time being they make do with following up the news coming from the meetings those who part ways with the AK Party organize in various places in Ankara. “Hah, they allegedly will form a party. There were ones who tried this before. The result was an obvious failure,” said Erdogan of his fellow travelers. CHP Chairperso­n Kemal Kilicdarog­lu congratula­ted the new party.

All these scenarios seem to be more dependent on the votes AK Party will win in local elections. Though a strong AK Party’s showing at the March 31 local elections will likely slow the pace of these new formations for the time being, the search for a new party on the center-right in the long run seems to continue with these names or others.

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