Meeting between former and current CHP heads fuels speculation
DHA photoRepublican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held a lengthy meeting with Deniz Baykal, the former leader of his party, leading to speculation the CHP could support Baykal in his probable run for the parliament speaker’s office.
The almost one-and-a-half hour meeting took place on June 23 shortly before Baykal took over from outgoing Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, as the eldest deputy in parliament, in order to chair the Plenary from the first sitting of the newly elected assembly until the election of the speaker.
“No, I don’t have such a statement,” Baykal told reporters after meeting with Kılıçdaroğlu, when asked whether he would run for the parliament speaker’s office. “We are not at the stage of candidacy yet,” Baykal, however, cautiously noted, falling short of strictly ruling out prospects for his nomination for the post.
He faced similar questions after he took over from Çiçek as well.
“Isn’t temporarily holding the speaker’s office sufficient for you?” he asked, responding to reporters who asked whether they should congratulate him on his new post.
“Our friends haven’t yet taken their oaths,” Baykal said, reiterating the process regarding nominations for parliament speaker would only start after deputies had completed taking their oaths. “We will see the picture all together after that process starts,” he said, leaving the door open to his nomination.
Baykal was subject to criticism from both the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) when he accepted an invitation to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 10, while the latter had yet to comment in public about the June 7 parliamentary election results.
At the time, Kılıçdaroğlu, who was informed of the meeting beforehand and briefed by Baykal afterward, remained silent regarding the process that led to the holding of such a meeting.