Intraparty leadership debates, sparked by the Republican People's Party's (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce's call for an extraordinary convention after the elections, continue to challenge the administration as the number of party members asking for a convention increases day by day. Following statements by İnce expressing his willingness to hold an extraordinary convention, CHP members and supporters started to announce that they are ready to submit signatures in order to hold a convention. Mehmet Siyam Kesimoğlu, the CHP's mayor of northwestern Kırklareli province released a statement on Saturday saying that İnce achieved over 30 percent of votes in a short period for the first time in decades.
He stressed that CHP supporters have been united for the success of İnce.
Kesimoğlu also gave his support to İnce to become the party's chairman saying, "These signatures of mine, as the mayor of Kırklareli, which gave the most support to İnce with 58 percent of vote, five congress delegates and one member of the disciplinary commission, are ready for a convention."
According to CHP bylaws, the convention can be held with the party chairman's call or the decision of the Party Assembly. It can be also convened with the signatures of one-fifth of the total number of congress delegates. The CHP has been reeling under an intraparty squabble between İnce and the incumbent Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu since the June 24 elections. In the wake of the results of the 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 eight points ahead of the party itself.
İnce had received about 30 percent of the votes in the elections while the incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, won the elections with 52.6 percent of the vote. The CHP garnered only about 22 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections.
Tayfun Okan Çobancık, the CHP's provincial head of Kırklareli also announced on Saturday support for change within the party that will be led by İnce. In a written statement Çonacık highlighted that it was not possible to be unfazed by the demands for change. "The necessary steps for the local elections should be taken and the efforts for change in the CHP should be conducted," Çobancık said and added that this change would take place with İnce.
In relation to the ongoing leadership debates, İnce said on Friday that there were no fights in the CHP. He stressed that "the wind of change is blowing in the CHP," and added that the wind should not be prevented by building walls. İnce's statements signaled that he will not give up on his efforts to take the helm of the CHP.
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