CHP leader toughens against party opponents

CHP leader toughens against party opponents

Deniz Zeyrek / Okan Konuralp ANKARA
CHP leader toughens against party opponents

‘We will have a road map after the congress. Our doors will be open to those who want to abide by this road map,’ CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu says. DHA Photo

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has toughened his position against party opponents on the eve of an extraordinary convention, urging those who disapprove of his policies to "leave the party." 

“I have always respected different views. But after the congress, I will not allow statements [coming from party officials] that would harm the party’s credibility in the eyes of the public. We’ll part ways if necessary,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet in an interview before the extraordinary congress to take place Sept. 5-6.

The CHP head underlined that those who want to continue to do politics with him in the party would have to abide by the rules and principles of the party after the congress. “We will have a road map after the congress. Our doors will be open to those who want to abide by this road map,” he said.

Following the failure of the party in the presidential elections after Kılıçdaroğlu nominated a conservative academic and diplomat, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, party dissidents called on him to resign and to hold an extraordinary convention. Upon these demands, Kılıçdaroğlu called the convention to seek a fresh vote of confidence from his party in running against Muharrem İnce.

Responding to criticisms that he is favoring rightist politicians as he invites many of them to the party, including Mehmet Bekaroğlu, a veteran conservative politician, Kılıçdaroğlu stressed his own social democratic background.

“I am from a social democratic tradition. All my rhetoric is social democratic. Isn’t the project of family insurance a social democratic project?” he said, adding that such claims were coming from people who have been left out of the party administration.

“There is this approach: If I am in, the party is leftist. If I am out, the CHP is no longer leftist. Some people are egocentric social democrats, but I am a people-centric social democrat,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“The CHP should retain a social democrat identity. It has to accept the universal rules of social democracy. I will stand before anybody who tries to reverse this. We are generating human-based policies. We are not going to alienate any segment of society. We are not going to do politics over ethnicity and faith,” he said, vowing to part ways with party members who dislike the CHP’s policies and rhetoric.

“At the end of the day, those who approve of the party politics will continue with us, those who don’t approve will not be with us. The party should continue its path on the basis of social democratic principles. Therefore,we’ll part ways with those who do not endorse these principles,” he added.