CHP dissident İnce insistent on extraordinary convention over presidential election result
Muharrem İnce speaks at a press conference at Parliament on Aug. 14.Although the founding power of the Republic of Turkey, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is not able to be a remedy for any trouble today, a dissident within the party has stated.
CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Muharrem İnce publicly listed his objections to the current state of affairs regarding the party structure and policies at a press conference at Parliament on Aug. 14.
“There are three deputy parliamentary group chairs in the party,” İnce said, criticizing inter-party inefficiency.
He also complained that he heard of his party’s decision for their presidential candidate nominee through the television, despite his title.
“I’m saying now, this was an obvious defeat and fiasco. My aim is not to wear down my party in such an environment. My goal is to produce a solution. The solution of such an environment and the cost of this risk is a convention,” İnce said, urging CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to call for an extraordinary convention.
Within days of the nomination of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu as a joint presidential candidate with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in mid-June, Kılıçdaroğlu stated that the nomination was a "risk" that he personally took. The decision to nominate Cairo-born İhsanoğlu, who has dedicated a large part of his life to promoting Islam, drew fierce criticism from some die-hard secularists within the CHP, with several refusing to sign his formal nomination.
Recalling that collecting signatures from at least half of over 1000 delegates is only one of the three options for calling an extraordinary convention, İnce said Kılıçdaroğlu should not resort to this option.
Earlier this week, Kılıçdaroğlu said he would not intervene if the six lawmakers led by Ankara deputy Emine Ülker Tarhan, who was favored by the neo-nationalist camp within the party to be nominated as the party’s presidential candidate, gather the sufficient number of signatures for an extraordinary convention.
“If more than half of the signatures are collected, then it would mean the leadership would become obsolete. I am not calling out only to Mr. Chairman [Kılıçdaroğlu], I’m also calling on a friend whom I have known for years and an elder brother of mine; if those signatures are collected, then there is no need for you to still remain in that office. This would exhaust us and wear you down, my Mr. Chairman,” İnce said. “There is no need for this. In that case, you should immediately resign.”
Meanwhile, CHP Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu told the state-run Anadolu Agency that Kılıçdaroğlu currently had no intention to use his authority to call an extraordinary convention.
“I don’t think a convention can be gathered upon a call by the deputies,” Tanrıkulu also said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the presidential election in the first round with 51.65 percent of the vote on Aug. 10, while İhsanoğlu won 38.57 percent of the vote, receiving less votes than the sum of the CHP and MHP votes that were received in the March 30 local election.
İhsanoğlu is a diplomat and academic who was at the helm of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for nine years until 2014 and worked closely with President-elect Erdoğan’s government during that time.