CHP leader vows to bring dynamism to party despite grassroots reaction
A man protests CHP's candidate choices for the upcoming local elections during a party meeting Feb 11. DHA photoIn the face of protests during a parliamentary group meeting at Parliament, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu refused to step back and voiced his determination to promote youthful and women candidates in the March 30 local elections.
Kılıçdaroğlu vowed to rid the CHP of its “old diseases.” “The ones who don’t embrace the party’s culture and who interrupt the leader will soon leave here. No matter who says what, I will smooth the way for youngsters in the party. I will destroy the understanding saying that ‘the CHP will not exist if I’m not there.’ If the CHP exists, it exists for all of us,” he said on Feb. 11.
An individual in the audience had begun shouting during his address, apparently in protest at the party’s choices for candidates in the upcoming local elections.
Stirring controversy even before the official announcement, the CHP’s choices for its candidates were finally made during a lengthy marathon meeting Feb. 9-10. However, they have already led to resignations, both at the parliamentary level and at the local administration level.
“Men, no offense, but women are more courageous in politics. Men are turning against each other in districts where there is a 100 percent guarantee of being elected. However, women are going to districts that are the most difficult places to be elected and saying, ‘I will run from here.’ The party needs new names. We have bright youngsters,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, emphasizing that the CHP had nominated 46 female mayoral candidates for the first time in its history.
“This party will get rid of its old diseases,” the CHP head added.