Small party, big impact: New Welfare Party may tilt the balance in key election races
ANKARA – In the run-up to the March 31 local elections, Turkish politics have been consumed by opposition block drama and infighting. That is, until the New Welfare Party (YRP) took the spotlight by announcing it would field its own candidates for İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir.
As one of the Turkish parliament’s newest, smallest and most conservative parties, the YRP gained relevance in last year’s elections by allying with and supporting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
But this year, the YRP is running its own candidates and may shave a few percentage points from AKP candidates, potentially tilting the balance in tight races.
Additionally, YRP deputy chair Doğan Bekin told Turkey recap the party believes it can take cities like Şanlıurfa, Bingöl, Yozgat and Elazığ, saying party membership has more than doubled in recent months and continues to grow.