Dissidents within CHP poised for new challenge
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP Deputy Chairman Nihat Matkap says the dissidents’ call for intra-party democracy is a pretext to amend the statute in a way that would make it easier for them to force an election for a new chairman. AA PhotoDissidents within the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) are expected to formally submit tomorrow a petition for an extraordinary party congress to change the party statute, stepping up their challenge against Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
“It’s obvious that the main objective of those who call for an extraordinary convention is to change the chairman and the Party Assembly,” said CHP deputy chairman Nihat Matkap.
The CHP leader has signaled he will not resist the call for a congress, saying that party members are using the rights they have under party rules.
Opponents of Kılıçdaroğlu - mainly backed by former secretary-general Önder Sav and grouped under the name of “grassroot movement for a new CHP” - started to collect signatures from party delegates for an extraordinary congress on Jan. 10 and announced five days later that they reached the required number.
Stressing that they had collected over 330 signatures, Hakkı Suha Okay said their main objective was to assure intra-party democracy. Two of the CHP’s Parliament members, İsa Gök and Haluk Koç, also expressed their support for an extraordinary convention.
However, Matkap said the dissidents’ call for intra-party democracy was a pretext to amend the statute in a way that would make it easier for them to force an election for a new chairman by reducing the number of signatures that is required for such a move.
“I cannot see any link to intra-party democracy in this effort. If we make such a change, we will provide a basis for convention calls every month,” Matkap said.
The dissidents are expected to submit their application to the party headquarters tomorrow. According to the CHP’s statute, an extraordinary congress should be convened within 45 days after the petition is delivered to the party.
Under current party rules, one fifth of nearly 1,250 party delegates can call a congress. However, leader election cannot be held at such extraordinary congresses unless the chairman or half of the delegates back the election.
Matkap had already said the party would hold a convention to review the statute in July or August, but could not discourage the dissidents from pressing ahead with their challenge. The CHP will hold chairman elections at a second congress later in autumn