World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking at a news conference, Engin Altay, the Republican People's Party (CHP) parliamentary group acting chairman, said: "15 MPs resigned from our party to join the Good (IYI) Party."
The 15 represent the provinces of Ankara, Bursa, Afyonkarahisar, Afyon, Amasya, Aydin, Balikesir, Burdur, Corum, Edirne, Izmir, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Nigde, and Zonguldak, Altay added.
Before the move, the IYI Party had five deputies in parliament. With 20 now, it has become the fifth party eligible to form a group in the current parliament.
In decreasing order of size, the other four parties are: the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, the CHP, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
The CHP is expected to discuss the move on Tuesday at an extraordinary Party Assembly.
Meanwhile, Meral Aksener, the head of the IYI Party, hailed the CHP move dubbing it "democratic".
“The attitude CHP and its dear chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu adopted is to be appreciated. It is a historically democratic attitude,” Aksener said in a statement.
However, AK Party blasted the move calling it a disregard to the nation’s will.
In a statement, AK Party spokesperson Mahir Unal said: “Kilicdaroglu, whose will has been taken hostage, sent his 15 members to another party in an authoritative move, disregarding the choice of his voters in general elections on Nov. 1, 2015.”
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called the move “political engineering”.
“With this dirty and immoral action, the CHP administration has made the republic's founder party a spare wheel [for another party],” Bozdag said.
The parliament on Friday passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.
In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switching from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.
Under the changes, the number of lawmakers in parliament rises to 600 from 550, presidential and parliamentary elections are held every five years, and presidents can retain ties to their political party. The prime minister post is also abolished.