CHP deputies begin collecting signatures for emergency convention

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ANKARA, TURKEY - JUNE 27: A group of people are seen in front of the Turkey's Republican People's Party (CHP) headquarters as they ended their 24- hours sit-in protest demanding resignation of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in Ankara, Turkey on June 27, 2018. Evrim Aydin / Anadolu Agency

CHP chairmanship in question as deputies collect signatures for emergency convention

Following a war of words on Tuesday between Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce and CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, some convention delegates have reportedly started to collect signatures for an emergency convention to vote on party chairman.

According to the Gerçek Gündem website, delegates from Batman province have declared that in order to put an end to internal conflict and prevent the party from imploding it is necessary to hold an emergency convention before the local elections in 2019. The delegates have also proposed İnce as the new chairman of the party.

In order to hold an emergency convention to elect a chairman, 627 signatures, a simple majority of delegates, must be presented.

İnce on Tuesday said that during a three-hour dinner in Ankara on Monday he proposed that Kılıçdaroğlu become honorary chairman and name him chairman of the party at an emergency convention, underlining that the party organization would resolve the issue if he refuses.

Reacting to İnce’s remarks, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “The elections on June 24 were not for the CHP or party leadership. They were elections for the country.”

“No one can give orders to the party organization,” Kılıçdaroğlu added, rebuffing İnce’s statement that if the CHP leader rejects his proposal, the party organization would resolve it.

Kılıçdaroğlu underlined that the party would be busy preparing for local elections that will probably take place in the fall of 2018, instead of spring 2019.

The CHP leader also claimed that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), whose support slipped from 49 percent to 42 percent in the June 24 elections, was trying to divert attention from their loss in popularity by running a media campaign on the CHP’s intra-party dispute.

Turkey’s main opposition party received 22 percent of the vote and their presidential candidate garnered 30 percent in the recent elections, which has sparked criticism of the current management, leading some members and supporters to demand the resignation of the CHP leader.

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