Prominent Republican People's Party (CHP) dissident Muharrem İnce, who lost the chairmanship race over the weekend, vowed to further carry out his opposition against re-elected Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Lashing out at CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu despite losing the convention Saturday, CHP Yalova Deputy İnce said on his official Twitter account that he will continue his "legitimate struggle" against the chairman. "We exist on the streets, we exist at party grassroots, we exist in hearts therefore we will continue our legitimate struggle," he said.
In total, 790 delegates voted for Kılıçdaroğlu, while İnce received 447 votes. A total of 1,253 delegates out of 1,266 cast their votes. However, a heated debate about whether İnce could gather enough delegate signatures to be a candidate shadowed the convention. It was claimed that 49 delegates signed both for Kılıçdaroğlu and İnce, which endangered the latter's candidacy.
CHP officials stated that Kılıçdaroğlu wanted the 49 signatures counted for İnce, while İnce, who criticized the nomination process prior to the congress and during his speech at the congress, responded by saying the CHP administration is trying to undermine his support by the argument. İnce asserted that he does not need anybody's mercy.
İnce harshly criticized the convention on Twitter as well. "Will you bring freedom to Turkey with this order of fear that you set up within the party?" he asked, adding that Kılıçdaroğlu failed to garner the votes of 291 delegated that signed for him to be a candidate.
According to reports in the Turkish media, İnce will strive to turn the CHP convention in the summer to change the bylaws into a convention with an election.
While İnce lost the race to Kılıçdaroğlu, yet vowed to fight another day, new members of the CHP party assembly were also elected. The CHP chairman received criticism in this respect as well because 10 names on his list could not enter the party assembly.
Ekrem Kerem Oktay, Umut Tekin, Ali Rıza Yılmaz, Ali Hikmet Akıllı, Mehmet Bekaroğlu, Celal Çelik, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Erbil Aydınlık, Muharrem Erkek and Fatma Güner, who were all on Kılıçdaroğlu's list, could not make it to the party assembly.
Some controversial names could also find a place for themselves in the assembly. Öztürk Yılmaz, CHP deputy chairman, was elected. He recently came under fire from different circles of the society for calling the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists and al-Qaida linked. Another controversial figure at the assembly is Sera Kadıgil. Kadıgil has been criticized for her tweets, indicating that she is disgusted with slogans shouted for slain Turkish soldiers. The party has recently experienced a rollercoaster with intra-party opposition and the disputed election of Canan Kaftancıoğlu as the Istanbul head. Kaftancıoğlu disrespected the Turkish nation and carried out propaganda in previous posts on her official Twitter account.