Intraparty rivalry within the Republican People's Party (CHP) escalated as Muharrem İnce, the party's presidential candidate for the June 24 elections, insisted on an extraordinary convention, refusing to wait any longer for a change in party leadership, while the current party administration says the convention is not on their agenda.
İnce expressed his willingness to have an extraordinary convention as soon as possible during his visit to the daily newspaper Sözcü on Thursday, by saying that it saddens him when people asks him to wait longer.
"I become very sad when people say ‘wait until the local elections since this administration [of CHP] will fail anyway.' I would wait but, will Turkey wait too?" İnce asked while expressing that the rallies that were conducted during the June 24 election process should continue nonstop.
İnce further expressed that he does not seek a position for himself but instead he seeks hope for Turkey.
"I don't believe that it will take another five years for Turkey to go for new presidential elections," İnce said, adding that the CHP should launch another election campaign in high time.
İnce also underlined that if the CHP does not change itself and rejuvenate, the party would lose its influence in Turkish politics.
"If CHP fails in innovating itself, it would be a total failure in the local elections," İnce said. He had called for the current Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to move aside earlier in the week.
The CHP has
been reeling under an intraparty squabble between İnce and Kılıçdaroğlu since the June 24 elections. In the wake of the results of the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections, İnce voiced his intention to run for chairmanship of the party, building on the support he gained during the presidential race, which was 8 percent ahead of the party itself.
İnce said on Tuesday that he had suggested to the incumbent Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to call for an extraordinary convention. However, he added that he offered Kılıçdaroğlu an honorary party chairmanship position, and that he could be the chairman of the party.
Kılıçdaroğlu, in his first remark after İnce's statement, described his words as "political impoliteness," saying it was a private matter between the two and İnce's move was out of the norm in terms of political etiquette.
CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan also said on Friday during a televised interview that if enough number of signatories could be collected, there could be an extraordinary convention. However, if not, this debate would end and everyone would start to work on the local elections. Previously, Tezcan said that the party would not hold an extraordinary convention despite İnce's demands.
Meanwhile, a group of former CHP deputies called for an extraordinary convention during a press conference on Thursday as well, while emphasizing that CHP failed as a party in the recent elections and no words would be enough to cover this fact.
Fifty one former CHP deputies, including well-known names such as Ejder Malik Özdemir, Onur Öymen and Faith Altay expressed that the chairman of the party and the administration itself should be regenerated as soon as possible, which would, in their opinion, be beneficial for CHP supporters to get rid of hopelessness.