Turkey's main opposition, the Republican People's Party (CHP), announced they would hold a congress to elect a party chairman on Jan. 15-16. The announcement of the congress came late Sunday, while 42 former provincial heads announced that they are requesting an extraordinary congress in December.
In the Nov. 1 elections the CHP gained 25.3 percent of the votes, which is slightly less than half of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) votes, and this poor performance sparked intra party critics and leadership challenges against the current chairman, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. Three names, Yalova deputy Muharrem İnce and former deputies Umut Oran and Mustafa Balbay have already announced their candidacy to run for chairmanship. According to sources within the CHP, Muharrem İnce and Umut Oran are trying to gather signatures from delegates to hold an extraordinary congress. As per the CHP's internal rules, opposition candidates need to collect 600 signatures out of 1,200 delegates and submit them to CHP headquarters by Tuesday evening in order to hold an extraordinary congress. In September 2014 the CHP held a congress and İnce ran against Kılıçdaroğlu and received the votes of 415 delegates.
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