CHP chairman calls for early congress to counter intraparty opposition


Amid ongoing efforts from intraparty opposition for changes to the party's bylaws, Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called his party to an early extraordinary congress, which is expected to be held in August.

Kılıçdaroğlu announced that changes to bylaws would be discussed on March 9-10 in Ankara at the party's 19th extraordinary congress. The decision came amid CHP opposition figures' efforts to set an agenda for the extraordinary congress.

CHP Yalova Deputy Muharrem İnce, who lost the chairmanship election to Kılıçdaroğlu earlier in February, previously said he would gather 100,000 signatures for his proposal to change the party's bylaws. İnce suggested that if the party's presidential candidate should be elected by over 1 million members, the process of gathering signatures needs to be ended, and a party chair who fails to come first in two elections should resign.

It was also reported that İnce would seek to turn the CHP convention, which is expected to be held in the summer, into a convention with an election. As the party opposition accelerated efforts for the extraordinary congress, Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly decided to set an earlier date for it.

In the extraordinary congress in March, it is expected that there will be changes to the bylaws regarding the election of delegates and the structure of the party organization. Additionally, the bylaw regarding the procedure and principle of convening conventions might also be changed.

Even though İnce lost the chairmanship race, he pledged to continue his efforts. In the convention, 790 delegates voted for Kılıçdaroğlu and İnce received 447 votes, with 1,253 delegates out of 1,266 casting votes. However, a heated debate about whether İnce could gather enough delegate signatures to be a candidate cast a shadow on the convention. It was claimed that 49 delegates signed both for Kılıçdaroğlu and İnce, which endangered the latter's candidacy.

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