Main opposition CHP eyes greater int’l role

Main opposition CHP eyes greater int’l role

CAPE TOWN - Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition CHP eyes greater int’l role

CHP delegation celebrates party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s election as vice. DAILY NEWS photo

After being elected vice-president of the Socialist International (SI) with one of the highest number of votes ever seen, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has declared he is now seeking a more active and visible role in the international arena.

As a token of his will, the CHP has proposed forming a “Syria Task Force of Socialist International” for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict, while South African President Jacob Zuma has voiced his concern over Arab Spring events, saying he was not sure whether it is spring or autumn now.

“I’m not always sure whether it is [Arab] spring or autumn, I’m not certain. The progressive forces are often unable to ensure that these activities result in more sovereignty, democracy and people-formed governments and political and economic systems. What may happen without the guidance of progressive forces is a generation falling into a new form of authoritarianism,” Zuma said on Friday in his address to SI congress.

The second day of the SI’s 24th congress was opened by the South African president, whose party hosts the event. Zuma said the SI needs to address the challenges facing humanity today by strengthening democracy, promoting multilateral cooperation and creating a new culture of solidarity among nations.

“We must acknowledge that there are progressive parties who do not want to see themselves as a member of the SI. We have to ask ourselves ‘why is this the case?’” Zuma said highlighting the fact that many leftist parties in South American countries are not the members of the SI.

Kılıçdaroğlu was elected vice-president of the SI after receiving one of the highest number of votes among all candidates. “I’m happy about the result. We’ll raise the CHP’s voice more in the international community. The CHP has been acknowledged as a leading power of social democracy,” he told reporters after the results were announced on Friday.

‘A process of changing one dictator for another’

CHP’s deputy chair Umut Oran revealed the CHP’s proposal for a Syria task force on the second day of the SI congress. Admitting that people in the Middle East demanded more rights and democracy in their country, Oran said that a transition process should go in the direction of the will of the people.

“We can not be a part of a transition process which changes one dictator for another, an oppressive regime for another regime of oppression,” Oran said.

Oran stressed that Syrian conflict is getting worse. “We can form a ‘Syria Task Force of the SI,’ which will go to Washington, Brussels, Moscow, Ankara and Tehran to affect and learn their sensitivities about the future of Syria,” Oran said, adding that the commission would visit Syria and contact all the sides of the conflict while empowering peace efforts in coordination with the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League.

“With this task force we can understand the situation from the field and empower the efforts that will lead to a peaceful resolution to the problem. As the main social democratic force in the world, I think it is our duty to help the people of Syria gain a brighter future with all the power that we have. […] Now in this historic time, we have to fulfill our duty and be side by side with the Syrian people, protect their lives and support their dreams,” he said.