CHP should not see the election outcome as success
The party that needs to think the most about the election results is again the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The impression that is being given by the party administration is they do not see at least a failure because the CHP’s votes have increased 5 percent compared to the 2009 local elections and 3 percent compared to the 2011 general elections. It remains to be seen to what degree this analysis is credible, but what is clear it that the outcome should not be seen as a success for the CHP.
The CHP needs to make a deep analysis on why it could not pass the 30 percent threshold despite the circumstances and take urgently, however late they are, the necessary measures in order to avoid making the same mistakes again.
Lack of confidence in economy
The election outcome has shown one more time what is CHP’s biggest problem:
People do not trust CHP because it does not have the cadres and the rhetoric to alleviate its concerns about its pocket. People do not wish to have the slightest instability about the economy. There is no way out for the CHP unless it deals with this shortcoming. Finding a solution or changing this perception is foremost the duty of Kılıçdaroğlu. After the issue of the economy, the CHP needs to mull over the passion to serve. This is the only way the argument, “Whatever the CHP does, the electorate will not vote for CHP,” will be alleviated.
The way forward is to create a difference, appreciation for the municipalities which are under the control of the CHP. CHP has many such examples. But it has examples to the contrary as well. If the CHP could not go beyond the 30 percent threshold, it needs to see the role of these examples and start questioning especially the big municipalities it has lost.
If CHP can spread the good examples throughout Turkey, it can have the chance to catch a big hope. The wrong choices are an issue for another article, but (while there could be other examples) I will talk about four mayors.
Good performance increases votes
In Ankara’s Yenimahalle, the government took out the Çayyolu district, a vote depot for the CHP and tied it to Çankaya, assuming it will win the elections in Yenimahalle. Yet Fethi Yaşar from the CHP was reelected, increasing his votes to 50.8 percent from the 40.8 percent he had won in 2009.
A similar tactic was done in Istanbul’s Sarıyer. The neighborhoods the AKP used to get a lot of vote were transferred from Şişli to Sarıyer. But Şükrü Genc, who had won 37.5 in 2009 succeeded this time to get more than 51 percent.
Özlem Çerçioğlu won by 26 percent of the votes in Aydın in the 2009 elections; this time she got 55 percent.
Let me tell you two interesting bits of information about the elections in Aydın.
While there is no objection to the election results in the Aydın municipality, in contrast to Ankara, Çerçioğlu still has not been given the document that will officially enable her to work as mayor.
More interestingly, 185 votes came out for the CHP in Çerçioğlu’s ballot box, yet zero votes came out for members of the council. Yet at least her, that of her husband and son should have come out for the CHP: apparently the totality of 146 votes were written for the HDP. She immediately objected to the results.
Our fourth example is Eskişehir and perhaps the most important. In Eskişehir, the AKP won 44 percent of the votes with 9 percentage of difference with CHP in the 2009 general elections. Not only did Yılmaz Büyükerşen close the gap in these elections, but came out 6 percent ahead of the AKP.
The CHP needs to give priority to the economy and focus on serving people.