CHP to hold fewer rallies in referendum campaign

Published 17.02.2017 00:00

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has decided to carry out a referendum campaign with fewer election rallies but more fieldwork explaining the constitutional amendment package to try to increase the number of "No" votes by going door to door, according to the decision made in the CHP Central Executive Committee meeting on Monday, during which the CHP also denounced discourse that alleges the party is affiliated with terrorist organizations.

Regarding the referendum campaign held on April 16, the CHP will likely accelerate their work for the upcoming referendum from the beginning of March. With the expectation that the grassroots of the party will most likely vote "No" in the referendum, the CHP is expected to focus on supporters thinking about voting "Yes," the desired outcome for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The CHP will also likely place importance on the Eastern Anatolia and the Black Sea regions of Turkey where the CHP could get a limited number of votes as well as the eastern and southeastern regions for the same reason.

Planning to form referendum campaigning teams for each region, the CHP will likely try to travel every province to address the public directly about the constitutional amendment package before the referendum. The CHP wants to convince supporters of the AK Party and the MHP by making contact with their supporters instead of organizing rallies. Emphasizing the use of "soft discourse" in the referendum campaign, the CHP is employing a mantra of "Do not blame ‘Yes' supporters, convince them."

Furthermore, the main opposition CHP is planning to pay attention to social media, which is often used as a propaganda tool by politicians. The short videos prepared for the "No" campaign are aimed at every citizen in the country. The notion of "democracy and freedom" will likely be highlighted in the videos and they will emphasize that "this referendum is not a general election; political parties will not be voted on. "In accordance with the CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's direction, the party will likely not use a polarizing language and discourse targeting a specific politician. The party will use simple, clear and short descriptions trying to inform the public. The CHP is expected to raise awareness in voters who do not go to the polls and to invite young people, especially students, to vote.

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