The remarks of a former Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy on the possible nomination of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) members as candidates in the local election sparked harsh criticism within the party.
Following the CHP executive meeting yesterday, the spokesman of the party Faik Öztrak announced that they will not collaborate with any party in the upcoming elections contrary to rumors.
Former Istanbul deputy Dursun Çiçek stated this weekend that the party might nominate HDP members as their candidates for the March 2019 local elections on a TV program.
"We have to collaborate with those who are not affiliated with PKK and those who are adhering to fundamental values of the republic in the upcoming elections. We have to collaborate with HDP in east and southeast, with The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in central Anatolia and with Good Party (İP) in the west. Otherwise, we cannot be triumphant against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) which uses every means of the state and media. The circumstances require such moves," Çiçek said.
Commenting on Çiçek's remarks to nominate suitable HDP members as candidates in the upcoming elections, Former CHP lawmaker Bülent Baharatlı also stated yesterday that this revealed the current fragmented situation of the party.
"Remarks of Dursun Çiçek are not binding for the party. Only if such remarks are made by the chairman, the decision would be binding for the party and all the members. Yet, Dursun Çiçek indicated such things instead of binding bodies. This situation only reveals that the party is undergoing an interregnum," Baharatlı said.
The CHP witnessed a massive defeat in June 24 elections contrary to the hype created domestically. The party acquired 22.6 percent of votes, a lower level of support compared to previous elections while the alliance of the AK Party and the MHP gathered 53.7 percent of the votes.
The party also suffered from nine failures in the previous elections under the leadership of incumbent Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who has led the party since 2011. Following the elections, the AK Party acquired 290 seats in Parliament, while the CHP has 144 seats, the HDP has 67 seats, the MHP has 49 and the İP has 42.
The party was able to gather to evaluate the poor elections results 66 days after the June 24 elections on Aug. 29. According to the report presented in the meeting, votes in all the major metropolitan cities where the CHP attracts a majority decreased considerably. The report also unveiled that the CHP lost 0.5 percent of votes to the pro-PKK HDP and 2.7 percent of its votes to the right-wing İP.
The CHP has been in turmoil for some time now due to internal divisions sparked by the dissidents' demands for change following the June 24 elections where Muharem İnce, the presidential candidate of the party, attracted more votes than the party itself.
Following the election, dissidents started a petition to convene an extraordinary convention calling for a change in the administration on July 16. Yet, the dissidents failed to reach the quorum. Since then, dissidents have been unceasingly protesting the administration with harsh remarks, resignations, and threats of a bylaw convention.
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