CHP's candidate crisis to have repercussions for weeks to come

Published 02.02.2019 00:25

The Republican People's Party (CHP) caucus meeting last Sunday, which revealed the names of CHP's 145 mayor candidates, has continued to make headlines amid intraparty fighting.

Following the 18-hour meeting on Jan. 27, held under the leadership of CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, some party members expressed their frustration over candidate selections and resigned.

CHP Istanbul Province head Canan Kaftancıoğlu had announced that she would be resigning from her post in reaction to the mayoral candidates; however, she later withdrew her resignation.

Commenting on Kaftancıoğlu's stance against the party administration, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized her decision Friday, adding that it was not appropriate to discuss intraparty matters in public. He also underlined that the CHP is in a sense a family and there may naturally be the occasional argument.

"She shouldn't have resigned. It is not right for a provincial head to share a tweet like that for emotional reasons," Kılıçdaroğlu stressed in a TV interview.

Publishing an announcement about her decision on Twitter, Kaftancıoğlu said she decided to leave her post as the opinions of the CHP Istanbul provincial organization were not adequately reflected in the process of determining the Istanbul mayoral candidate.

Speaking about the critics of CHP's Izmir candidate, Tunç Soyer, Kılıçdaroğlu said Soyer "should not be judged" by what his father, Nurettin Soyer, did during Turkey's 1980s political turmoil.

Soyer's has been in the line of fire because his father, who was a public prosecutor in the 1980s. He is known to have demanded the death penalty for 220 people from the nationalist wing, including the founder and former leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Alparslan Türkeş.

While discussions on the candidate selection continue, the CHP is expected to announce some 100 more election candidates in the last party assembly meeting Saturday.

The candidate situation in critical districts of Turkey's largest provinces - Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir - will become clearer following the meeting. Ankara's Etimesgut, Muğla's Bodrum, Istanbul's Maltepe, Silivri, Şişli, Beyoğlu and Küçükçekmece, and Izmir's Buca and Bayraklı districts, which were rejected in the last party caucus meeting, will be revoted on.

Reportedly, Kılıçdaroğlu will also ask for the party authority to nominate candidates in the remaining provinces and districts during the meeting; yet, the dissidents within the party could oppose the request for authorization. The CHP has so far announced its mayoral candidates in 842 electoral districts.

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