While the CHP should question the results of its convention, which resulted in the re-election of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as chairman, despite the party losing numerous elections under his leadership, it instead turns to its old bad habit of insulting the president
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has just completed its convention and the results were a great disappointment, not only for the party supporters but also for those who expected some deep-rooted changes in the party executive that would add quality to our democracy.
After the Nov. 1 parliamentary elections the CHP was shaken by a political storm as its followers were left heartbroken after the dismal performance of their party in the polls. While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) won with 49.5 percent of the vote, the CHP could only win a dismal 25.3 percent.
So what would happen in a Western democracy if the main opposition party lost the elections? The normal procedure would be that its leaders would quit and say fresh blood is needed to help turn the tide and make the party a viable alternative for government. That would especially be the case if that party had lost numerous elections under the leadership of that person in the past several polls.
However, that was not the case in Turkey. The CHP leader was unmoved by his own election flops and decided to stay on as the party boss. The so-called adversaries of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu decided to challenge him and demanded a party convention to oust him. They criticized his leadership and challenged his authority. At the time they gave the impression that they were strong and could finish off Kılıçdaroğlu. But as time went by it was proven that they were all paper tigers.
After all the big talk not one person could come up to challenge Kılıçdaroğlu and thus he was re-elected as the lone candidate. Doesn't this say something about the poor state of affairs in the CHP?
In Turkey we need a strong opposition or at least a viable opposition that can challenge the government and keep them in check. But under the current circumstances that seems impossible, which is a great shame for our democracy.
What is strange is that Kılıçdaroğlu saw for himself what he can do as an opposition leader and how he can serve the people when he campaigned before the June 7 elections for the minimum wage to be raised to TL 1,400 ($460). That was very popular and thus hurt the AK Party in the elections. Before the Nov. 1 polls, the AK Party also pledged to raise the minimum wage. That happened thanks to the CHP and Kılıçdaroğlu. So we see how a positive challenge by the CHP can serve the people as the AK Party kept its pledge and now the minimum wage has been increased despite all the odds. The CHP also promised to increase pensions and the AK Party had to follow them. Today the pensions have been increased.Kılıçdaroğlu should have taken serious lessons from all this but we see that he has quickly abandoned this policy of constructive opposition making and has once again turned to his old bad habits of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
All this serves to do is to imprison the CHP as a perennial opposition party and do a great disservice to our democracy. Kılıçdaroğlu will remain the leader of the CHP and the CHP will remain as the permanent main opposition party of Turkey, a party that cannot even produce fresh blood and a brand new leader to offer hope to the masses in Turkey as it continues to lose successive elections.