Nation Alliance faces crisis over candidates

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 31.01.2019 00:07
Updated 31.01.2019 10:19

Cracks in the alliance between the center-left Republican People's Party (CHP) and the right-wing Good Party (İP) continue to grow after Sunday's CHP party caucus meeting that left members of both parties expressing discomfort over candidate selections for the local elections in March.

One of the founding members of the İP, Cezmi Polat, said that he was "deceived" by the party administration and resigned from the İP late Tuesday. He also slammed the nomination of Tunç Soyer by the CHP as the municipal candidate for the İzmir municipality.

"We should have nothing to do with a person, whose father ordered the unlawful execution of Turkish nationalists in the courts of the Sept. 12 era [1980 coup]," Polat said. The CHP fielded Soyer's name for its stronghold İzmir on Sunday, the choice caused an uproar within the İP. He is the son of Nurettin Soyer, a military prosecutor who judged and demanded the execution of many right-wing figures, including the pioneer of Turkish nationalists' Alparslan Türkeş, during trials that took place after a military coup in 1980. The İP's İzmir party organization also criticized Soyer's candidacy as not being an inclusive decision. "Soyer's candidacy spurred reactions from our voter base and party organization as our priority was the nomination of a candidate with respect to the sensitivities of all factions of society," the İP's İzmir party organization said in a statement Monday.

In response to the criticism, İP leader Meral Akşener said on Tuesday, "Türkeş himself had indicated that crimes would not pass from the fathers to their sons." However, she underlined that the CHP is not an "easily governable party for Kılıçdaroğlu," adding that neither she nor CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, are a hundred percent satisfied about the candidates.

Sunday's party caucus meeting of the CHP, where the names of 145 mayoral candidates were revealed for the upcoming elections, not only caused tension in the İP, the CHP also had to deal with its own inner conflicts. Mehmet Siyam Kesimoğlu, the CHP's mayor in northwestern Kırklareli, one of the strongholds of the main opposition party, said that he got a "sword wound" after not being renominated for the post, declaring that he doesn't recognize the decision of the party administration.

Media outlets also recently reported that there had been growing demands within the CHP for removing the party's Istanbul Province head Canan Kaftancıoğlu from her position. Following an 18-hour meeting held under the leadership of Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP's Istanbul head Kaftancıoğlu announced that she had resigned from her post in reaction to the mayoral candidates the party had chosen to compete in the municipal elections; however, she later withdrew her resignation.

Some dissident figures also objected to Şerdil Odabaşı being selected as the mayoral candidate for Istanbul's Kadıköy district, they claimed voting irregularities in the party caucus meeting.

Former senior CHP figure announce candidacy for another party

Meanwhile, Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman Öncer Aksakal announced Wednesday that the party nominated Istanbul's former Şişli district mayor Mustafa Sarıgül as their candidate for the same post.

Sarıgül, last week resigned from CHP, protesting the CHP administration for not designating a candidate in the district with only two months left for the local elections in March. "I am offended by the administration of the CHP. I am reacting to their indecision, non-transparency, and disloyalty," he said in his resignation letter.

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