Opposition CHP says no snap congress amid rising discontent

Opposition CHP says no snap congress amid rising discontent

Opposition CHP says no snap congress amid rising discontent

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Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has commenced its schedule for a regular congress amid rising voices from party dissidents who have been pressing its leadership to hold an extraordinary congress.

“With the central executive board meeting held on May 3, we have commenced the regular congress process,” CHP Deputy Chair Tekin Bingöl told reporters after the party’s weekly meeting.

“We held our 35th regular congress on Jan. 15 and 16, after which we commenced the congress process in 2015. Our regulations oblige us to hold a congress every two years. For this reason, within this year, we must schedule our party congresses and hold our regular congress on the date that our party assembly will decide on,” Bingöl added.

His comments came after former CHP leader Deniz Baykal urged current CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to convene an extraordinary congress to determine the party’s presidential candidate, stirring debate within the main opposition. 

Following Baykal, Mersin deputy Fikri Sağlar also criticized the Kılıçdaroğlu administration, vowing to stand as a candidate for the party leadership if an extraordinary congress is held.

“Kılıçdaroğlu campaigned against the ‘one man’ in the referendum, but he himself became the only man in the campaign,” Sağlar told daily Akşam on May 2.

However, Kılıçdaroğlu, who has led the CHP since 2010, blasted dissident voices in the party. 

“We will never allow an inner-party fight … We will get rid of those who cause such fights,” he said on May 2.

Disciplinary proceedings against Sağlar

One day after Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments, the CHP’s central board commenced disciplinary proceedings against Sağlar, CHP spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke stated on May 3.

Meanwhile, answering questions concerning dissident voices about an extraordinary congress, Bingöl said the regular congress schedule needs to be kicked off as it will take time and an extraordinary congress would be impractical.

“Everybody can voice their criticisms but we focus on our congress schedule and this process,” he added.

Bingöl also stated that the CHP will continue to reject the referendum results in the coming period, as legal works to complete the appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) continue.

The CHP says there were voting irregularities in the recent referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system, casting a shadow on the legitimacy of the vote.