CHP dissidents say they have collected enough signatures for convention, while party HQ denies it
Gaye Usluer, a CHP assembly member and the spokesperson of the in-house opposition group
"A dissident main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) member has said they have collected the required number of signatures to convene an extraordinary convention seeking leadership change, while the party administration denied it.
“Our bylaw requires the signatures of the majority of all delegates with the confirmation of a notary. Today, the number of total delegates is 1,240, and we have 630 signatures with the notary confirmation,” Gaye Usluer, a CHP assembly member and the spokesperson of the in-house opposition group, said Aug. 2 in a press conference.
Members of the CHP frustrated with party leadership have been collecting signatures to take the party to the convention in a bid to change the party administration. Pressure by them has been mounting since the June 24 elections, when the CHP faced yet another defeat and saw its votes drop since the 2015 elections.
The legal period for the signature collection ended on June 31. The party has one week to make an assessment on the signatures, which need notary confirmation.
Usluer said there were 50 more signatures that were confirmed by the notary but they hadn’t received them yet. She added that they also had information on the withdrawal of some signatures.
She said, however, they did not know the number of delegates that “withdrew or were made to withdraw” their signatures.
She added that the dissidents will comply with any decision made by the administration after all the assessment period ends, regardless of the number of the signatures, and they “will not appeal to the judiciary for the congress.”
“Our expectation from CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is for him to initiate a process for an extraordinary congress as soon as possible,” she said.
After the signatures are given to relevant authorities, the party administration will make a decision.
If the required number of signatures has been collected, the party will have to convene the congress within 45 days.
CHP deputy chairman Muharrem Erkek, however, said that the dissidents failed to collect enough number of signatures.
"Our initial review shows that the number of signatures is not enough to convene an extraordinary congress," he told journalists.