The mainopposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and its leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, emerged from the March 30 local elections as the main losers. It was expected that the first parliamentary group meeting of the CHP since elections would be a scene where Kılıçdaroğlu would be grilled for his ineffective election campaign that gave his rival, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) 45.5 percent of the votes. The CHP lost some of its bastions during the elections and fell way behind the AK Party.
Kılıçdaroğlu's strategy to draw attention to corruption allegations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his men, his bid to field right-wing candidates to draw more votes as well as his alleged cooperation with the Gülen Movement was to be criticized bitterly at the parliamentary group and later in all other platforms of the CHP. The fact that Kılıçdaroğlu accepted Erdoğan's challenge to turn the "local" elections into a referendum on his administration and the results that gave the AK Party a landslide victory was also a major source of criticism leveled against Kılıçdaroğlu. There were rumors that a movement to topple Kılıçdaroğlu and install Mustafa Sarıgül or even former chairman Deniz Baykal was in the offing.
So just as Kılıçdarğlu was heading to this potentially problematic meeting, suddenly an assailant identified as Orhan Övet punched the main opposition leader in the corridors of the Parliament and managed to effectively change the agenda. People forgot the elections fiasco and rallied around their leader. The opposition within the CHP had to remain silent and even grudgingly back Kılıçdaroğlu. We hate conspiracy theories but wasn't all this a bit too convenient for the CHP boss?