Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said he had nominated Muharrem İnce as the party’s presidential candidate in order to prepare him for serving as party chairman but that events that unfolded after the election changed his mind, the Hürriyet daily reported.
“I will not be party chairman forever, and in any case I will quit. I was actually thinking of resigning after the elections,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during a party executive board meeting on Wednesday.
CHP party council members discussed the results of the parliamentary and presidential elections held on June 24 during an eight-hour-long meeting at which Kılıçdaroğlu aired all his grievances.
İnce on Thursday tweeted negative comments about the meeting and Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks about him.
“Not inviting the presidential candidate to the meeting is one problem. Lying in that meeting is another,” İnce tweeted, adding that the meeting was held 66 days after the elections.
İnce and Kılıçdaroğlu had dinner in early July to discuss the future of the party after which İnce told reporters he had suggested that Kılıçdaroğlu become honorary chairman and leave his leadership post to İnce.
However, Kılıçdaroğlu said it was not polite to reveal what had happened at the dinner.
According to the Hürriyet report, Kılıçdaroğlu confirmed İnce’s offer to him, adding that he told İnce if he were chairman, the party would fall apart in a week.
İnce garnered more than 30 percent of the vote in the presidential election, outperforming the party by 8 percent, which subsequently led to an intra-party demand for his chairmanship.
CHP deputies close to İnce started to collect signatures for an emergency convention to change the top management; however, their effort failed since they were unable to attract the majority of delegates.
Later, the party board said there was no need for a convention before the local elections scheduled for next March.
İnce’s supporters are not the only opposition group inside the party, though, with two other groups opposing the current party management, especially Kılıçdaroğlu’s leadership. One group recently published a 35-page declaration to urge party delegates to return to their nationalist roots, while the other group led by deputies İlhan Cihaner and Selin Sayek Böke advocate a more social-democratic and reformist line.