Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) delegates have announced they have started to collect signatures for an extraordinary congress for a leadership change, while CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan said “not all delegates are willing to sign.”
“We hereby declare to Turkey, to our party’s related authorities and our congress delegates, our demand to hold an extraordinary congress for the CHP with an agenda to change the leadership,” CHP’s Bilecik lawmaker Yaşar Tüzün said at a press conference in parliament on July 16.
According to the party law, top executive bodies have the authority to declare a congress while over half of delegates can declare a congress by collecting signatures. The CHPmembers will require 634 signatures.
After the July 24 elections where the main opposition party received 22 percent of the votes, the CHP witnessed an in-house debate over the demand for a change in leadership.
“Today, a change is an obligation and we have to initiate change by starting with ourselves. This is because we will not achieve different results with the same methods based on our experience from nine previous elections. Our party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has refrained from taking responsibility despite defeat in nine previous elections and his administrative understanding has come to an end,” CHP’s former lawmaker Gaye Usluer said.
Dissidents supported defeated presidential candidate Muharrem İnce for the leadership post, while İnce has approached the calls for change positively.
“I will not collect signatures but I will follow the will of the delegates,” he had said previously.
Delegates unwilling: CHP spokesperson
Tezcan said the majority of CHP delegates are unwilling to sign for a change of leadership.
“The impression we have is these signatures cannot be collected. The important part of the party grassroots think the time is not appropriate for an extraordinary congress. There is no strong will among delegates for a congress,” Tezcan said on July 16 during the party’s central executive board meeting.
Some CHP members who oppose the congress state the party should focus on the upcoming local elections, which will be held in March 2019.