Right parties unite, new leader to be elected in six months

The Democrat Party (DP) and the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), once the primary representatives of the center right, merged as the result of party congresses held hours apart using the same hall. According to the merger agreement, a congress will be held in six months to elect the new leader of the party. A rotating chairmanship system will be in place, and the new leader is expected to be Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB).

 This was the second attempt to merge the DP and ANAVATAN. The first, which came before the 2007 general elections, failed under controversial circumstances. The merger is part of an ongoing restructuring of the Turkish political landscape that started in the aftermath of the 2002 elections that brought the AKP to power in a landslide. According to analysts, the new party has the potential to challenge AKP in the next elections. 

Sources: Hurriyet Daily and Today’s Zaman

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