International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Turkey: 42 former CHP provincial heads call for extraordinary assembly




Forty-two former Republican People's Party (CHP) provincial heads, who are still active delegates despite having lost their provincial posts, have called for the party to hold an extraordinary assembly, in effect challenging the reign of current CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday(08.11.2015), the 42 former provincial heads, a position that oversees the day to day running of the party organization in Turkey's 81 provinces, criticized the results obtained by the CHP in the election on Nov. 1.

Speaking in the name of the group, Zeki Alçın, the former provincial head for Ankara, said: “The Nov. 1 election ended in failure for CHP. The first thing that needs to be done is for the CHP to accept the failure, without hiding behind any excuses, and to provide solutions.”

Alçın said, “What needs to be done is to go straight to an extraordinary assembly.”

“The chairman [Kılıçdaroğlu], should not waste the party's time any longer and should not hide behind excuses by saying, ‘We [CHP] have an ordinary assembly ahead of us,'” Alçın said. “The interests of the Republican People's Party are above everyone and everything.”

The CHP is expected to hold its annual congress in either December or early 2016, and Kılıçdaroğlu may see his chairmanship challenged, as the party's percentage of the vote hovered at around the 25 percent mark in both of this year's general elections.

Kılıçdaroğlu said in a press statement late on election night that the result had placed further responsibility on the party's shoulders. Underlining that his party respects the election results, Kılıçdaroğlu said steps toward change in his party would be made decisively.

According to the unofficial results of the election, the main opposition CHP only slightly increased its votes on Nov. 1. The CHP won 25.3 percent of the vote, up only 0.4 percent from the 24.9 percent it won in the June election. The party will now be represented by 134 deputies in Parliament; it won 132 seats in the previous election. The CHP did not manage to win any deputies in 35 provinces.

In the June election, the CHP led the vote in 10 provinces, but this figure fell to six on Nov. 1, winning the most votes in İzmir, Aydın, Muğla, Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ provinces.

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), in contrast, regained the parliamentary majority it had lost in June, winning 49.3 percent of the vote.

The call by 42 former provincial heads comes days after Umut Oran, a former İstanbul deputy for the CHP, called on Kılıçdaroğlu to hold an extraordinary congress as soon as possible to restore trust in the party after its failure.

Oran announced his candidacy for the party's chairmanship at a press conference in Ankara on Wednesday.

“I call on all CHP supporters to make a change in order to transform the party; I am ready to take on the responsibility [of chairman] to help the CHP to rule the country,” he said.

In a September 2014 congress, Muharrem İnce unsuccessfully ran against Kılıçdaroğlu for the party's chairmanship but garnered many more votes than expected.

İnce received a surprising 415 votes despite having only been nominated as a candidate by 177 delegates before the congress.

Source: http://www.todayszaman.com/national_42-former-chp-provincial-heads-call-for-extraordinary-assembly_403724.html




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