Provincial heads of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have thrown their support behind longtime leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu amid an ongoing campaign by dissidents in the party to convey an extraordinary congress to oust him.
Some 59 of all 81 provincial heads of the CHP held a meeting July 26 to criticize the current efforts by the dissidents, who have initiated a petition to go to an extraordinary congress for leadership change.
After another election defeat on June 24 and having received considerably lower than its usual number of votes, many members of the party voiced criticism to the current party administration, calling for a change in the administration.
The provincial heads gathered to express their support to the current administration after dissident delegates on July 25 said they collected the sufficient number of signatures required to go to an extraordinary congress.
Urging the dissidents to give up on their demand for a congress, CHP’s Ankara provincial head Rıfkı Güvener said internal divisions were harming the party.
“The process to collect the signatures for an extraordinary congress is harming our party. We do not think it is appropriate that the congress discussions are being publicized into a signature collection show. It is not right to make calls for a congress when the election results haven’t even been analyzed yet,” he said.
Although the dissidents argue they have surpassed the number of signatures necessary for the congress, the CHP administration says the number is not enough yet.
Members can collect signatures until July 30.