CHP to not run for posts of resigned mayors
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will not nominate candidates for mayoral posts left vacant after recent resignations by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayors, CHP deputy leader Bülent Tezcan has said, reiterating his party’s call for an early election.
“The place to solve this chaos definitely is the people. For this reason, we will not present candidates for the vacant mayoral posts at the next municipal council meeting,” Tezcan said on Oct. 25 after the CHP’s Central Executive Board meeting.
The CHP’s decision came after a series of resignations by mayors of several provinces including Istanbul, Düzce, Niğde and Bursa. The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek, is the latest to announce that he would submit his resignation.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the resignations on Oct. 24, saying they were motivated by the AKP’s political authority and calling for an early election to bring forth legitimate representation in municipalities.
“There is no point in waiting for 17 months. Let’s not slaughter democracy. Let’s hold elections now,” Kılıçdaroğlu had said.
“I am openly challenging you. Let’s see who is actually trying to escape the polls,” he said, vowing that the CHP would give “all the necessary backing” for a legal change to hold elections before 2019.
Reiterating his party’s stance, Tezcan said: “Turkey’s way out of this chaos is an election. We want an election.”
“Half of the Turkish public is being administrated by appointed - not elected - mayors. If there is such a chaos, let the people take hold of it. The will of the people, not the palace [presidential office], will prevail,” he added.
Tezcan also said the resignations were being executed upon President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s instructions, adding that it aims to “cover up criminal files.”
“He [Erdoğan] gives two options to mayors: One is to resign, the other is to go to prison. Is this a promise to cover up a criminal file, if there is any, if they resign? This is obviously the case. He [Erdoğan] told them that if they resign, the other option will not be implemented,” he claimed.
“Today, the presidential office has become a place of threat and blackmail,” he said.