The Republican People's Party (CHP) on Friday started the controversial bylaws convention in Ankara amid growing intra-party opposition as Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu harshly criticized dissidents.
Delivering a speech at the opening of the 19th extraordinary bylaws convention, CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu was harsh on some circles within the party as the intra-party opposition against him has been mounting in recent times. "Those who say ‘Is my seat in Parliament guaranteed' do not have the right to be a man of the cause. Those who are the men of the cause do not hold positions. You do not have a place in this party," Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that those who pursue their own interests do not have a place in the party either.
Commenting on the biggest criticism about his bylaws draft, which abolished the pre-selection method, Kılıçdaroğlu said that he was the one in the first place who brought the rule. Calling on everyone, who says "the party does not exist if I do not," to get out of the hall where the bylaws convention was held, Kılıçdaroğlu said that the party belongs to everyone.
However, there has been strong opposition to the bylaws draft, which was set to be put into motion at the convention. Some 48 deputies recently 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. CHP Secretary-General Akif Hamzaçebi was also one of the dissidents. He argued that the bylaws draft passed without his signature and consent.
It was reported in the media on Friday that Kılıçdaroğlu backed down from the bylaws draft in the face of growing dissent within the party.
The CHP chairman also picked on deputies showing up on TV Channels. Underlining that nobody in the party can partake in a televised interview or on a live program without his consent, he said: "I was elected deputy. I can be on any channel I want [and] speak like I want. If he/she is on without permission, he/she has no place in the party."
Meanwhile, the 26-article alliance bill was approved in the Constitutional Committee on Thursday. Therefore the CHP's report on election safety could not be discussed in the committee. The CHP has visited all political parties recently to exchange views on what may be changed in the alliance bill. The bill is expected to be discussed in the general session in Parliament next week.