Problems in CHP to boost morale
Even though there are fair criticisms regarding certain irregularities and the size of the hall, they do not shadow the reality that the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Convention was held in a democratic atmosphere.
Frankly, at least personally, I would prefer a party convention where different candidates and hundreds of members compete for party management even though there may be severe criticisms, to a convention where everybody is under a military discipline, with one candidate and one discourse, where people are separated from each other by iron barriers.
I appreciate the colorful propaganda and promotion materials that CHP members used for the Party Assembly elections, even though there were 600 candidates, the entire process was held without fights and in a respectful manner.
As I wrote before, the March 30 elections demoralized the CHP’s grassroots. The presidential elections could have turned this around but with the contribution of certain domestic groups and wrong policies, this demoralization increased even further. In other words, a discourse or an action was needed since March 30 to bring morality to the party’s grassroots, to strengthen its resilience and this convention was a last chance.
Let me say it openly: The demoralization I have observed during and after the convention did not decrease; actually it multiplied, and the delegates left Ankara unhappy.
The delegates conveyed this unhappiness, particularly to the party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, with the vote they used in the leadership elections, they said, “This is the last upward slope.”
Now, Kılıçdaroğlu, even though he was elected with a lower than expected vote, has shouldered the burden; he has to both end this demoralization by self-criticism and a renewed staff, also by creating hope.
There are signs to that end. It looks as if the CHP will act faster, invest in younger people, find new faces, complete its projects in a faster manner, structure its organization accordingly and start working for the upcoming 2015 elections.
The new central executive board (MYK) of the CHP should see this message of the delegates clearly: “Do not put the burden only on Kılıçdaroğlu’s shoulders. You all have to work hard ready to face the people any time.”
A couple of more notes from the convention:
Talking about the opposition, I had written that the 300-350 corridor was an achievement for the opposition, I think the success that Muharrem İnce has achieved is beyond estimates and he deserves to be congratulated.
However, İnce should construe from the results of the Party Assembly votes that the warning message to Kılıçdaroğlu has been influential in the votes he gained; this way he can see the future better. The Party Assembly elections have also shown that the opposition around İnce is not quite organized; whereas a strong group that would make the administration work harder, that would develop a discourse without disrupting the integrity would make a contribution to the CHP before 2015.
Both the administration and the opposition, they should ponder over the fact that two young and hardworking deputies, Özgür Özel and Aykut Erdoğdu, worked their way out of the lists to be elected to the Party Assembly and they should take steps accordingly.
As a last note on CHP’s new foreign policy spokesperson: You know former ambassador Murat Özçelik was not elected. He occupies the first reserve position, so whenever there is a resignation, he will enter the Party Assembly or he will be an influential chief advisor to Kılıçdaroğlu.