Dissidents roll up sleeves to change CHP bylaws

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

Failing to reach a quorum for an extraordinary convention, dissidents in the Republican People's Party (CHP) are not backpedaling from their demands, and now aim to change party convention bylaws.

The CHP's intraparty opposition met in Ankara on Saturday to discuss a road map and determine further moves against party leadership. Before attending the meeting, Muharrem İnce, the opposition's apparent frontrunner for the chairmanship, stated that demands for change cannot be ignored. "The CHP doesn't belong to the current chairman and MYK [Central Board Executive] members," İnce said. To convene the convention for bylaws, 249 signatures from the delegates have to be collected. However, 622 delegates are considered the absolute majority needed to give their signatures to change the bylaws.

In particular, dissidents are reportedly planning to change the 48th article of the party bylaws, which set the conditions for the number of signatures to be collected for a convention. In this way, dissidents can collect fewer signatures to convene a convention to challenge incumbent chairman Kılıçdaroğlu. Following the June 24 elections, dissidents started a petition to convene an extraordinary convention, calling for a change in the administration on July 16.

Despite constant calls to end the discussions after the announcement by the party administration that dissidents failed to collect the required 622 signatures and therefore there will be no convention, they were unceasingly protesting the administration with hunger strikes, sit-in protests and resignations. Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu, who failed to alleviate the heated debates by forming a balanced MYK, is looking for new ways to hinder the dissidents' moves. On Friday, Kılıçdaroğlu removed his deputies, Bülent Tezcan and Tekin Bingöl, who attracted much criticism from provincial organizations, for awhile from their positions. Kılıçdaroğlu assigned Oğuz Kaan Salıcı as the spokesman and the vice chairman responsible for the party organization, hoping to dissuade delegates from signing the petition to change the bylaws.

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