The chairmanship candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and former Group Deputy Chairman Muharrem İnce, said that CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu failed in the Aug. 10 presidential election. Speaking on a TV program aired on CNNTürk, İnce stated that even though 14 opposition parties, including those that failed to take a seat in the Turkish Parliament, compromised on joint candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan still garnered nearly 52 percent of the votes in the presidential election.
Comparing President-elect Erdoğan to joint candidate İhsanoğlu, İnce said that while Erdoğan held rallies during the preelection campaign process, İhsanoğlu only held press conferences in halls, and that İhsanoğlu's candidacy was a wrong move for CHP. The CHP chairmanship candidate also noted that the CHP should have announced its own candidate in the first round of the presidential election. Noting that he respects İhsanoğlu's personality and experience, İnce stated that there has been incompatibility between İhsanoğlu and the CHP's principles.
A day after the announcement of the extraordinary convention, Muharrem İnce declared that he will be running as candidate to become the new party leader against Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. İnce organized a press conference at the Turkish Parliament where he said he has resigned from his position in the CHP as party deputy chairman, and declared his candidacy for the CHP chairmanship as expected.
During the press conference, İnce emphasized intra-party democratic issues, and criticized the CHP's consecutive election defeats. İnce criticized the current administration saying, "Before he came to power, Kılıçdaroğlu promised intra-party democracy. Now, this man is gone. Instead of him, a man came in who determined every single affair in the party. I will bring democracy to the CHP." İnce also said that the current administration has fears and obsessions. "They organize a convention in 15 days - I can feel their fear, because of that I announced my candidacy. Why will it be that sudden?
They organized the convention like an assault, without an audience, party members, and most importantly, without the attendance of the nation. They are running from the people - they will hold the convention in a place like a movie hall, in a closed area. If I win the race, my first job will be to change the party charter. I will remove the limitations in the charter." İnce pointed out that the administration cannot take responsibility after election defeats. "Local or general elections, it does not matter, a leader who could not win in his first two elections will be obliged to resign by the party charter that I promised to prepare."
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