The Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, whose party has suffered nine successive nationwide election defeats under his leadership, dodged a question as to whether he will resign if he fails once again in the local elections on March 31.
Speaking yesterday in a televised program, Kılıçdaroğlu avoided a question about his resignation, saying that he is sure that the Nation Alliance formed by the CHP and the far-right Good Party (İP) will defeat the People's Alliance of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the upcoming elections.
"We will achieve the results we have been expecting. We will win in Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Adana and Mersin. Nobody should doubt us. The people and the election environment show this to us," he said.
In relation to Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the party in the June 24 elections, Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated that he did not nominate İnce for the Istanbul mayor office since "he did not have a successful history of municipalism." He added that the party has been entered a new ear, and they nominated only those who had a successful mayoral background in the elections.
İnce, the leading dissident figure in the party, had voiced his intention to run for mayor of Istanbul on the condition that he was nominated through a primary election. Yet, Kılıçdaroğlu was hesitant to nominate İnce, reportedly fearing that if İnce wins in Istanbul, he may rerun for the party chairmanship position and force him to step down.
The CHP chairman has been criticized for a wide range of issues, ranging from poor performances in elections and referendums to his overall performance since he began heading the CHP in 2010. The CHP has also been in turmoil for some time now due to internal divisions sparked by the dissidents' demands for change following the June 24 elections where İnce attracted near 10 percent more votes than the party itself. Poor results sparked debates within the party as some party members called on Kılıçdaroğlu, whom they see as responsible for repeated election failures, to step down.