İYİ Party to hold extraordinary party congress after local elections disappointment

The nationalist İYİ (Good) Party’s leader Meral Akşener announced that the party would convene an extraordinary congress as soon as possible, following its underperformance in the local elections. A former party member alleged that Akşener would not run again in the congress, stepping down from leadership.

Duvar English

Meral Akşener, the leader of the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, on April 1 said the party would convene an extraordinary congress as soon as possible, in her first public appearance after the disappointing local election results.

Akşener said the party would “critique its performance and listen to the message the voters have sent them through the ballot box.” 

Former party member İbrahim Özkan alleged on his social media that Akşener would not run as a chair candidate in the congress, leaving the leadership she has assumed since founding İYİ Party in 2017. 

Akşener has not commented on whether she would resign or run again in the party congress. 

Özkan was one of the party members to resign after Akşener closed the door on any potential alliances with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for the local elections. 

İYİ Party member Bilge Yılmaz announced his resignation as the Economy Policies Chair as initial results for the local elections started to roll in on March 31. 

He announced he resigned to divert all his attention to the next general elections scheduled for 2027. Yılmaz called for Akşener’s resignation, as the local election results revealed the party still had much to achieve. 

The İYİ Party won one provincial mayorship in the central Anatolian Nevşehir province, 23 district mayorships, and seven townships.

The party had entered the general elections of 2023 as part of the Table of Six among the CHP. It was the fourth biggest party in the elections with 9.69% of the votes.

As the Nation Alliance broke down after its Presidential Candidate and former CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s defeat, Akşener became a vocal critic of the alliance system. 

The leader vowed to enter local elections “freely” and “on its own,” causing outrage within party ranks and leading to resignations by major figures who did not condone diverting the votes of the popular CHP mayors Ekrem İmamoğlu and Mansur Yavaş.

Akşener also drew criticism for openly attacking former allies İmamoğlu and Yavaş, calling them "cowards" for not running as presidential candidates for the 2023 elections instead of their party leader Kılıçdaroğlu.