New CHP, same old faces after congress

New CHP, same old faces after congress

Göksel Bozkurt / Hüseyin Hayatsever ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
New CHP, same old faces after congress

‘I trust the will of the congress delegates and our grassroots’ says CHP leader. DHA photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who has vowed to move the party in a more social democratic and libertarian direction, chose to form a balanced A-team for the party, picking both social democrats and pro-secularist and Kemalist figures for the top board.

The second day of the CHP’s 34th ordinary convention opened yesterday for the party’s assembly elections. The CHP’s 1,282 delegates voted for 60 party assembly members using an “open list” method. Any CHP member could stand as a candidate for party assembly membership, which is an unusual method for the CHP. The open-list method was first applied 12 years ago in 2000, when Altan Öymen was CHP chairman. Previously, such elections within the CHP were done by a “bloc list” method, in which the chairman created a list that was then voted on by delegates.

There was tough competition in the CHP’s party assembly elections, as 434 party members stood as candidates for 60 seats. Nevertheless, after Kılıçdaroğlu said that he would reveal a “key list” to delegates and seek support for the team he wants to work with, much speculation was circulated among CHP corridors about what names would appear on Kılıçdaroğlu’s list. Earlier yesterday, there had been rumors that there would be two other key lists apart from Kılıçdaroğlu’s. According to this scenario, CHP deputy chairs Erdoğan Toprak and Nihat Matkap, who formed the delegate structure during provincial congresses, would reveal their own key-list to secure their positions, while former deputy chairs Gürsel Tekin and Hurşit Güneş would prepare another list and lend their support to Adnan Keskin for the party’s number-two post. In an effort to set back those rumors, Kılıçdaroğlu issued a written statement at noon saying that he would reveal 100 names for the party assembly memberships and leave the delegates free to pick 52 names for the elections. “I trust the will of the congress delegates and our grassroots. I have prepared a 100-name key list by consulting with our provincial chairs and lawmakers. I will work with those who are elected from among these 100 names by our delegates,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. It has been learned that Gürsel Tekin held a meeting with Kılıçdaroğlu late Tuesday and shared his views about the key list the chairman introduced yesterday.

Eight members of the party assembly will be “Science and Culture Platform” members elected from a list of 12 names chosen by Kılıçdaroğlu. Social democratic figures such as current deputy chair Sencer Ayata, as well as law professor Burhan Şenatalar and Kemalist figures such as deputies Birgül Ayman Güler, Fatma Nur Serter and Ankara Bar association head Metin Feyzioğlu were on the “Science and Culture Platform” list.