CHP leader set to renew his A-team at congress

CHP leader set to renew his A-team at congress

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP leader set to renew his A-team at congress

‘We will hit the road with a new staff and a new understanding. We need an understanding that maintains an equal distance to [all] people’ says Kılıçdaroğlu. AA photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is set to hold yet another congress tomorrow as its leader aims to renew his A-team that will lead the party into upcoming local elections and presidential elections, both slated for 2014.

Speaking to reporters yesterday ahead of a meeting with the chairs of the CHP’s provincial chambers, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu expressed confidence that the upcoming congress would be “a congress of serious change and transformation.” “We will hit the road with a new staff and a new understanding. We need an understanding which loves people; maintains an equal distance to [all] people; respects everybody’s belief; doesn’t ‘otherize’ anyone on the basis of his ethnic identity; and produces solution for the most basic problems of Turkey.”

The theme of the congress is “full democracy and change,” in line with Kılıçdaroğlu’s “new CHP” discourse. On the first day of the two-day congress, party delegates will first elect the chairman, while the party assembly and disciplinary board will be elected on the second day. No rivals are expected to compete against Kılıçdaroğlu in the CHP’s 34th ordinary congress, but tough competition is expected in the 60-seat party assembly elections. The CHP’s 1,282 delegates will elect 60 party assembly members with an “open-list” method. The delegates have been widely perceived as loyal to Kılıçdaroğlu since CHP deputy chairs Erdoğan Toprak and Nihat Matkap formed the delegate structure during provincial congresses. Any CHP member can stand as a candidate for party assembly membership, but such an election would be rare for the CHP. Previously, such elections within the CHP were done with a “bloc-list” method in which the chairman formed a list that was then voted on by delegates. Kılıçdaroğlu has frequently stressed that he is in favor of an open-list method for party assembly elections.

Nevertheless, he also said that he will reveal a “key list” to delegates and seek support for the team he wants to work with. He is expected to determine more than 60 names for party assembly memberships, but delegates will be free to choose the members from or outside Kılıçdaroğlu’s key list. For the first time in the CHP’s party assembly elections, a quota of 33 percent, or 20 members, will be allocated to women while a quota of 10 percent, or six members, will be allocated to the youth. Eight members of the party assembly will, meanwhile, be composed of “Science and Culture Platform” members. The identities of those set to make up Kılıçdaroğlu’s prospective list have been the topic of much speculation. Faruk Loğoğlu, Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Sencer Ayata are among the names from the current Central Executive Board (MYK) who are expected to regain their party assembly memberships. Lawmakers Veli Ağbaba, İlhan Cihaner and Şafak Pavey are expected to be in the CHP’s party assembly.

Post-modern coup
Kılıçdaroğlu also yesterday touched on news reports that said assets of key figures who played a role in the Feb. 28, 1997, “post-modern coup” process would be investigated. While noting that he had no objection to such an investigation, he said the current political leaders’ assets should also be investigated. “I’m now proposing an investigation of my assets first of all. I don’t take offense,” he said. Bank accounts of politicians, soldiers and high-ranking civil servants serving in office between 1991 and 2007 as part of the Feb. 28 coup will be examined, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin, the head of Parliament’s Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission, said July 14.