CHP deputy Muharrem İnce to challenge Kılıçdaroğlu for party leadership
“In our 36th Ordinary Congress, I will be a candidate for the leadership of the Republican People’s Party,” Yalova MP Ince said on Jan. 22 in a press conference at parliament.
The CHP will hold its 36th ordinary congress on Feb. 3 and 4 in Ankara, at which its next leader will be elected, along with its party assembly and high disciplinary board.
Along with current CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, former Istanbul Bar Association head Ümit Kocasakal also announced his candidacy for the leadership on Jan. 17.
During Kılıçdaroğlu’s eight-year period as head of Turkey’s main opposition party, only İnce has stepped up to challenge him as a candidate in 2014, when he lost out to Kılıçdaroğlu. Some 740 delegates voted for Kilicdaroglu and 415 voted for İnce.
According to CHP bylaws, 120 signatures from the 1,100-delegate party are needed in order to become a leadership candidate. The leader is then elected by secret ballot and with a simple majority of votes at a party congress.
“As there are already enough signatures [supporting me] I am not saying I am a candidate for nomination, I am saying I am a candidate. I will continue to collect signatures,” İnce said.
“Ahead of the congress I will not engage in an inner-party arguments. This congress is not a race between Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Muharrem İnce and other nominees. This congress is a congress to regain our future,” he added.