The recent bylaws draft of the Republican People's Party (CHP) has sparked controversy and reawakened the growing intra-party discussions about the legitimacy of Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
CHP Secretary-General Akif Hamzaçebi has criticized the bylaws draft that passed without his signature, sources said. He allegedly sent a message to the members of the party's assembly, which emphasized his disturbance regarding the issue.
In addition to Hamzaçebi's opposition, intra-party democracy has been questioned by many members so far, indicating Kılıçdaroğlu's rising authority in the party.
According to the bylaws draft, party members will be compelled to choose between being a full member and a supporting member. It is argued among the dissidents that this separation will create difficulties in implementation because a supporting member will not be able to benefit from the right to elect the chairman or be elected themselves.
While the rule to gather signatures from at least 10 percent of the delegates to run for chairmanship at conventions is still problematic, this separation will reportedly increase undemocratic conditions within the CHP.
Additionally, the voter inquiry recently added into the bylaws draft as a new way to elect a presidential candidate also caused tension in the CHP. The members also find the voter inquiry hard to implement, expressing that this method should be another alternative to the member and intra-party inquiries.
According to the recent draft, a presidential candidate can be elected by four methods – voter inquiry, pre-selection, candidate inquiry or intra-party inquiries.
Earlier this month, CHP's general convention witnessed the re-election of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as the party's chairman despite the opposition of CHP Yalova Deputy Muharrem İnce, who was considered the strongest intra-party rival. Despite the defeat, İnce vowed to fight Kılıçdaroğlu's rising authoritarianism in the party.
While the growing opposition to Kılıçdaroğlu puts the party's integrity at risk, the CHP came to a consensus about the necessity of an alliance for the next elections.
Meanwhile CHP'S five-member alliance committee, which was recently formed to visit other parties to exchange views on issues such as the content of the alliance bill and election security, visited the İYİ Party (Good Party) on Friday.
The meeting was interpreted to be about forming an alliance, but CHP spokesman Bülent Tezcan denied the alliance rumors, saying the meeting was about election security. Tezcan stressed that the joint work with the Good Party are going well, but an alliance is not on the agenda for now.
Aytun Çıray, the Good Party's secretary-general and spokesperson, reiterated Tezcan's points about the alliance. "However, this meeting was not for an electoral alliance. This talk is about providing election security," he said.
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