Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is reportedly planning to consolidate his power as the dissidents' demands for a change in party leadership die down.
In a meeting with CHP provincial heads, Kılıçdaroğlu signaled that the party may expel dissidents who, according to him, harm both the CHP and its ideologies by insisting on their demands, Turkish media reported yesterday.
He expressed his displeasure over the in-house debate that has continued for months now. "It is not right for the party's sake," he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly said some party members at times act against the interests of the party and place more priority on their own benefits. "The CHP needs to get rid of those people," he added.
Commenting on the dissidents' demands, Kılıçdaroğlu said a change in the party was not likely because the dissident movement does not have a philosophy behind it. He also promised that if the dissidents managed to come up with some kind of a philosophical depth to their ideas, he would immediately step down, since he is not obsessed with the chairmanship.
Apparently, Kılıçdaroğlu has successfully hushed the dissenting voices, and it has been a while since they took any concrete step for a bylaw convention.
Muharrem İnce, the dissidents' choice for CHP leadership and the party's presidential candidate in the June 24 election, recently confirmed that the dissidents would not take action in the near future.
"The convention debate has ended. We should look ahead. The executive body and the chairman are only considered as tenants, while we are the hosts. The host will not demolish the house if the tenant damages it," İnce said Monday.
Following the poor results in the June 24 elections, the CHP has been grappling with intraparty debates targeted at Kılıçdaroğlu's leadership. The dissidents held him responsible for the CHP's repeated failures in the elections. They launched a petition calling for an extraordinary convention on July 16. However, they could not collect enough signatures needed to call for one, pushing the dissidents' to initiate a bylaw convention process if Kılıçdaroğlu insisted on keeping his position. The CHP suffered a massive defeat in the June 24 parliamentary elections, contrary to the hype created around it. The party received only 22.6 percent of votes - a lower level of support compared to previous elections. Votes for the CHP in major metropolitan cities and its traditional strongholds also decreased considerably, aggravating the defeat of the party.
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