CHP dissidents voice further criticism as party holds bylaws convention

CHP dissidents voice further criticism as party holds bylaws convention

The Republican People's Party (CHP) is set to hold a bylaws convention today and tomorrow as the intra-party opposition continues to slam Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's growing authoritarian rule and the current bylaws draft.

Some 48 deputies released a written statement against the party's administration with the motto "Democratic bylaws, democratic CHP, democratic Turkey." Deputies criticized the party's administration for failing to listen to the requests and suggestions of the whole party in preparing the bylaws draft.

The deputies put forward seven ideas of what the democratic bylaws draft should look like.

"We will never allow a mentality to be imposed upon our party that does not believe in its members and organizations and denies their will," the statement read.

The dissidents also called on every single member of the party to rise against unjust actions.

CHP Secretary-General Akif Hamzaçebi had also previously criticized the bylaws draft that passed without his signature, according to reports in Turkish media. He allegedly sent a message to the members of the party's assembly in which he emphasized his disturbance regarding the issue.

According to the bylaws draft, party members will be compelled to choose between being a full member and a supporting member. It has been argued among 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, voter inquiry was recently added into the bylaws draft as a new way to elect a presidential candidate, which has 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.

The new bylaws are also expected to pave the way for the party to make electoral alliances in 2019 in line with the 26-article bill of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan previously told the media that there must be changes in terms of alliances, especially after the recent talks between the AK Party and the MHP.

"Flexibility is needed in bylaws that would allow broad alliances," Tezcan reportedly said.

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