CHP turns to a psychologist for intraparty problems

Published 02.03.2019 00:18

Unable to deal with problems by itself, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has resorted to using a psychologist to help the party understand how to attract and revive its voter base.

It was reported on Friday that amid an ongoing crisis within the party that emerged as a result of the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections defeat and escalated during the municipal candidate selection process for the local elections, a CHP deputy, Bülent Kuşoğlu, had asked a psychologist to assess and then write a report on the party to help find a solution to their problems.

Abdülkadir Çelik, the head of the Political Psychology Foundation, was asked to convince the resentful segments of the CHP voter base to go to the polls on March 31.

After the request, Çelik had prepared reports on the issue and then held a briefing at CHP headquarters with senior CHP figures, along with four of his colleagues.

"It is true that the CHP has a resentful voter base. If a group does not show consistency and fights with each other than people will not vote for them," Çelik said. He added, however, that the CHP had not taken his suggestions in the reports presented and instead has continually made the same mistakes.

"People have concerns. Regardless of if it is true or not, the AK Party [Justice and Development Party] has integrity. Yet, it is not certain what will happen to the CHP [next]," Çelik said, adding that the so-called "multivocality" within the party is seen as "chaos" by the people.

"[CHP members] are criticizing each other under the name of democracy but this criticism is being perceived differently by society. They [CHP members] should receive serious training regarding where and how to criticize. This abruptness offends people," he emphasized.

Çelik further expressed his wish to be heard by CHP members as, even though they asked for help, they have overlooked his suggestions constantly.

The center-left CHP is cooperating with the right-wing Good Party (İP) in most municipalities as the part of the Nation Alliance, which was formed for the June 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The CHP had already been plagued by intraparty divisions due to a leadership race between party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and intraparty opposition headed by CHP's 2018 presidential candidate Muharrem İnce. Most recently the party has gone through a long and difficult process in candidate selection for the local elections.

The CHP administration and Kılıçdaroğlu, who failed to emerge victorious in four parliamentary, two presidential and one local election, in addition to a crucial system change referendum, were blamed for nominating figures closer to their line at the expense of popular and experienced candidates with independent stances or ties to the intraparty opposition.

This, along with concessions to the İP for their cooperation, has led to mass resignations at the local level, while many prominent party members have also left their positions. Pundits have claimed that the CHP might find it hard to attract voters to the ballots on election day at the end of the month.

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