Feb 22 2018

Turkish party leaders stay till they die, MP complains

It is nigh on impossible to change an unsuccessful leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, a member of parliament for the party complained after failing to unseat its current head who has lost three general elections in a row.

"There are no rules to change leadership within the party," said Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) deputy and a former candidate for party leadership Muharrem İnce. "We have rules for assuming office, we don't have rules to replace the leaders."

Muharrem Ince said leaders of all political parties in Turkey hang on to their posts until they die.

"If someone is elected the chairman, it is a lifetime thing,” said İnce, giving the example of Devlet Bahçeli, who has been leader of the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP) for 25 years without ever winning an election.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has lost the last three general elections and his predecessor lost four in a row before stepping down due to a sex scandal. The CHP, Turkey’s second biggest party in parliament, has not won a general election since 1978.

"Let's make a new rule," Ince suggested. "Every leader who loses two elections in a row must resign. That simple.''

İnce lost in his bid to become CHP leader at this year's party congress. He secured 447 votes out of 1,237 from party delegates.