Jul 07 2018

Opposition party mayor calls for CHP snap congress, İnce’s leadership

The mayor of Turkey’s northwestern city of Kırklareli, where Turkey's main opposition party received the highest percentage of votes in last month's elections, has called for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to convene for snap congress and the elect presidential candidate Muharrem İnce as the CHP’s new leader.

Mehmet Kesimoğlu published a letter he penned to CHP leadership on Twitter on Saturday, stressing that the party was ready to move forth with İnce at the helm.

The CHP candidate received over 31 percent of the vote in the June 24 presidential elections, losing to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but accomplishing a first for Turkey's oldest party in 41 years by surpassing 30 percent. İnce was able to galvanize support beyond CHP’s voter base, something that previous leaders in the CHP have not been able to do. In light of İnce’s relative success at the polls, there are increasing calls for a snap convention from within the party.

‘’İnce was able to reach out to every segment of society and accomplish what hasn’t been succeeded in decades - carrying us to over 30 percent support,’’ Kesimoğlu said.

‘’As the mayor of Kırklareli, which gave the highest level of support to İnce at 58 percent, I present the signatures of five of our congress delegates and one from the party’s discipline committee.’’

İnce himself last week suggested that CHP’s incumbent chairman Kılıçdaroğlu call for an extraordinary congress, a move which Kılıçdaroğlu labelled as "political impoliteness.’’