Following an announcement that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will hold an emergency convention on May 22, and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) dissident members continuing their efforts to hold an emergency convention to oust party chairman Devlet Bahçeli, intra-party opposition in the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) are beginning preparations to request an emergency convention for an election for a new party chairman. During the CHP's ordinary congress in January, current chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was the sole candidate, and thus was re-elected to his post with 990 votes, from the 1,238 who cast ballots. According to sources close to the CHP, the party's dissident members are planning to meet with provincial organizations throughout Turkey to gain support.
Given the party's numerous failures in elections while Kılıçdaroğlu has been leader, since May 2010, several intra-party critics have surfaced, and several figures have announced their candidacy for chairmanship, including former Istanbul deputy Umut Oran, Yalova deputy Muharrem İnce and İzmir deputy Mustafa Balbay. However, due to their failure to collect the required number of signatures in support for candidacy from delegates, Oran, İnce and Balbay have withdrawn from rivalry, leaving Kılıçdaroğlu as the only remaining candidate.
New discussions in CHP have arisen, as two different groups are preparing to gain support for an emergency convention. One dissident group is said to be led by İnce, and his supporters are soon to begin their work in Balıkesir. According to sources, another group that seeks support for the congress is thought to be led by former CHP deputy Şahin Mengü. The group led by Mengü has reportedly announced as their candidate former CHP Parliamentary group deputy chairwoman Güldal Mumcu. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mumcu recently said that former deputies of the party held a meeting to discuss the party's current situation and that they are to meet once more on June 5. Mumcu further noted in her statements that the meetings would continue until a solution is reached.
As the party established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, the CHP is the biggest opposition party in Turkey, with 134 members in the 550-seat Turkish parliament. The CHP received 25.31 percent of the vote in the Nov. 1 elections. Many CHP figures criticized the party's vote share after the elections, saying that maintaining a 25 percent vote share is not a success, referring to the party's votes increasing by only a miniscule amount from previous elections held in June.
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