With the Nov. 1 early elections approaching quickly, Turkey's main opposition party, the Republican Peoples Party (CHP), finalized its election strategy. Retaining custodial votes and winning more votes in eastern and southeastern provinces topped the agenda. In an effort to pass the electoral threshold, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) had received what is described as "custodial votes" from CHP supporters in the June 7 parliamentary elections. In this regard, it has been indicated not only by top CHP officials but also by many voters that 4 percent of CHP supporters shifted to the HDP to ensure the pro-Kurdish party passed the 10 percent election threshold. It has further been indicated by sources close to the CHP that those 4 percent of votes were mainly Alevi votes and that the party plans to get those votes in the upcoming Nov. 1 elections.
Though the CHP's target of achieving 25 percent of the popular vote in the June 7 elections failed, the party now aims to achieve nearly 30 percent of the vote on Nov. 1. With this new aim, the CHP nominated former Alevi-Bektaşi Federation Chairman Fevzi Gümüş and Ali Balkız to regain the Alevi votes that it reportedly gave to the HDP. According to sources, the party will also discuss granting cemevis rights given to official places of worship and removing mandatory religion classes in its electoral manifesto for Nov. 1. As part of its election strategy and with the increased terror attacks by the PKK terrorist organization, CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also changed his attitude toward the HDP. Kılıçdaroğlu is now expected to promote the CHP more and demand political parties – namely the HDP – to be distant from terrorist organizations. Additionally, the CHP, which received almost no votes from eastern and southeastern provinces, will offer solutions to end rising PKK terror and the Kurdish issue in its electoral manifesto.
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