Dissidents within the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) may drag the crisis-weary party into further turmoil as they gear up for a lengthy judicial process if the party's administration does not decide on the extraordinary convention.
As the dissenting front in the party is expected to submit the signatures that they have gathered for the past two weeks to the party's administration today, it still remains to be seen whether they have enough signatures for an extraordinary convention.
According to media reports yesterday, the dissidents are seeking to pursue a judicial process should the party administration not take into consideration the signatures of those who, later on, decided to withdraw their signatures. The dissidents are talking about two judicial decisions that would set a precedent in this respect.While the exact number of the signatures was not disclosed after the two-week process came to an end earlier this week, it was reported that the signed documents were classified by the dissidents. There are rumors in Ankara that the next debate between the party administration and the dissenting front will be about the delegates who withdrew their signatures later on.
Following the 15-day period to collect enough signatures in line with the party bylaws, the dissidents had a week to submit the signatures. However, the opponents declared that they would submit them to the party's administration on Aug. 2, without waiting for a week to pass. The presence of 625 signatures corresponding to the absolute majority of the total number of delegates required to convene the extraordinary convention is still a matter of debate. If the number of required signatures is met, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will be required to call a convention within the next 45 days.
It has been reported that some delegates decided to submit their signature and then changed their minds. While the party's administration argues that such signatures cannot be counted, the dissidents disagree.
The process of collecting signatures, which ended on Monday, was launched by the dissidents on July 16 on the grounds that "the party has a leadership problem" and "the CHP needs a change in order to be successful in the upcoming local elections."
Despite the debates as to how many signatures have been collected, the dissidents called on the party's administration to hold the emergency convention anyway. "If there is an overwhelming demand for a convention, the CHP administration should take these demands into consideration," Gaye Usluer, a member of the CHP Party Assembly, said this week.
The dissenting voices within the CHP became louder following the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections after the CHP received much less votes than CHP's presidential candidate Muharrem İnce.
Muharrem İnce is expected to run against Kılıçdaroğlu in a possible emergency convention. Previously, İnce lost twice against Kılıçdaroğlu in the race for chairmanship. This would be İnce's third attempt to overthrow Kılıçdaroğlu after he failed at the CHP conventions in 2014 and earlier this year. In February this year, Kılıçdaroğlu once again beat İnce with 790 votes to 447 after he called for a "Justice and Courage" congress. İnce currently claims that a change must occur in the party's leadership for it to be successful in the upcoming local elections in March 2019 and the presidential elections in 2023.
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