CHP leader reshuffles his top executive board amid leadership crisis

CHP leader reshuffles his top executive board amid leadership crisis

CHP leader reshuffles his top executive board amid leadership crisis

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has reshuffled his top aide team amid ongoing pressure from dissident members who have been pushing for change in leadership.

Kılıçdaroğlu, who has been under mounting pressure to resign, announced the CHP’s new Central Executive Board (MYK) on Aug. 10, replacing five of 17 board members, while bringing in six new deputy leaders to the top executive body. 

Faik Öztrak, the former deputy leader responsible for public policy in the MYK, became the party’s new spokesperson. Öztrak will also be in charge of economy policy at the party.

The decision came amid a dissident in-house movement led by CHP’s presidential candidate Muharrem İnce, who has been calling for change in the party administration since the June 24 elections.

The dissidents had called for an extraordinary convention, but their attempts failed after the CHP administration announced the number of signatures required to take the party to the convention was not enough.

İnce, however, vowed to “continue the struggle.”

Kılıçdaroğlu’s reshuffle was interpreted by many as a move to soothe the concerns of the dissidents.

With the reshuffle, former spokesperson Bülent Tezcan along with deputy leaders Öztürk Yılmaz, Haluk Koç, Tekin Bingöl, and Osman Budak were left out, while Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, Orhan Sarıbal, Bülent Kuşuoğlu, Gökçe Gökçen, Yıldırım Kaya and Yunus Emre became new members.

Yıldırım Kaya will be responsible for education policy. The current MYK member responsible for education policy, Lale Karabıyık, is now in charge of “women policy,” a new focus for the party.

The CHP leader ushered in three new policy areas for the new administration, focusing on the youth policy, women and agriculture. It abolished the positions for social policy and public diplomacy.

For youth policy, Yunus Emre, a newcomer, was appointed. Orhan Sarıbal has been tasked to oversee agricultural policy.

CHP’s deputy leader in charge of foreign relations, Öztürk Yılmaz, did not get a place in the list. His post was given to Ünal Çeviköz, who was responsible for public diplomacy.

Aykut Erdoğdu, in charge of the economy in the previous board, will be responsible for employee institutions, which had been under the responsibility of Osman Budak.

Bülent Kuşoğlu will take Haluk Koç’s job for administrative and financial works. 

Gökçe Gökçen, another newcomer, will take over Tekin Bingöl’s deputy leadership position monitoring the country’s human rights issues.

Other MYK members Fethi Açıkel, Tuncay Özkan, Onursal Adıgüzel, Gülizar Biçer, Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, Muharrem Erkek, Veli Ağbaba and Seyit Torun have kept their positions and responsibilities in the party’s top executive board.