CHP struggles to determine candidates for March 31 elections

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

Amid negotiations with other opposition parties for a possible alliance in the March 31 local elections, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is having a tough time determining their remaining candidates.

The CHP has been at work conducting surveys in the election districts where it has not nominated a candidate yet. Despite the surveys that are supposed to reveal the best possible candidates, the party administration is reportedly disregarding the organization's demands and persisting on their own candidates.

In addition, several media outlets reported yesterday that some party members altered the survey held in Adana province. In the survey, the party organization was asked which name they want to see as the Adana mayor candidate. Çukurova Provincial Mayor Soner Çetin reportedly came in first, outscoring his closest rival Seyhan Provincial Mayor Zeydan Karalar with a 7-point difference.

However, the result was reportedly tampered with to show Karalar as the first preference of the party organization, which is led by CHP Vice Chairman Seyit Torun, who is responsible for local administrations, and two other consultants of the chairman.

The change in the result reportedly came to light during a presentation of the company tasked with conducting the survey. The incumbent chairman of the CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu realized the difference between the results and reacted harshly at Torun.

According to another report published in Habertürk on Tuesday, Kılıçdaroğlu did not place the name of Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the party in the June 24 elections, in the surveys held in Istanbul.

Only the names of the party's General Secretary, Akif Hamzaçebi, Istanbul's Beylikdüzü district mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu and Gürsel Tekin, the former Istanbul provincial head of CHP, were included in the survey.

Reportedly, the party organization was shocked by the decision as İnce was the most prominent name for Istanbul mayor candidate and has been the most preferred candidate in unofficial surveys.

İnce, a prominent dissident leader who challenged Kılıçdaroğlu, previously voiced his intentions to run for Istanbul mayor with the condition that he is nominated through a primary election.

Following the poor results in the June 24 elections, the CHP has been in turmoil due to internal divisions sparked by the gap between the votes for İnce and the CHP. İnce lost the presidential election but was 8 percentage points ahead of the party itself in the parliamentary polls. Some party members called on Kılıçdaroğlu, whom they see as responsible for repeated election failures, to step down. However, they previously failed to reach a quorum in a petition to convene an extraordinary convention.

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