The party organization of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) increased its protests against the administration as Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu insists on imposing mayoral candidates for the March 31 elections and cooperating with the right-wing Good Party (IP), despite mounting objections.
"Our chairman should operate within democratic channels in the party instead of giving democracy lessons to the outside of the party," Hayri Sucu, CHP Gaziantep provincial head, was quoted as saying in an interview published in Sabah newspaper yesterday. Sucu previously lashed out at the decision of the party administration to present a candidate from IP in the province for the upcoming elections as a part of the alliance. Sucu opposed the decision saying that the CHP provincial administration was not consulted on the issue. Subsequently, Sucu and the Gaziantep provincial CHP administration were dismissed on Friday by the party administration on the grounds of acting against the party bylaw.
Commenting on the dismissal, Sucu said: "Kılıçdaroğlu did not appoint me to this post, my provincial organization chose me. This treatment is anti-democratic." The CHP and IP reached an agreement early December to continue the previously formed Nation Alliance in 21 cities and eventually agreed to expand the alliance to include 20 more provinces. According to that agreement, the İP would back CHP candidates in Bolu, Kırşehir, Sivas and Erzincan provinces. The CHP, on the other hand, would support IP candidates in six provinces, including Isparta, Düzce, Nevşehir, Afyonkarahisar, Osmaniye and Kırıkkale. The alliance also decided to allow the IP to compete in Elazığ and Yozgat. However, alliance negotiations have been facing numerous objections from the party organizations for some time now.
Another protest from a party organization came from the Pazarcık district in Kahramanmaraş province. Following the resignation of 44 party organization members who objected to the CHP mayoral candidate, another 160 members submitted their resignation letters on Saturday to the head of the CHP Pazarcık district organization, Veysel Şeyran. Members' resignation letters, however, were not accepted by Şeyran.
Pointing out that the CHP is moving away from its initial founding principles of justice and democracy, Çiğdem Zorba, a member, said that it is not possible for them to continue with a CHP that disregarded tendency surveys, public's views and warnings to impose a decision taken in line with personal interest to the party organization despite its damage to the party itself. She added they would submit their letters to the Pazarcık district election board today.