The mayoral workshop of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), where the policies for the coming five years will be determined, started on Friday in western Afyon's Sandıklı district. "We will prepare for the general election with a strong CHP," the party's Deputy Chairman Seyit Torun said Friday on the first day of the workshop.
Stressing that the 2019 local elections have been a rough competition, Torun said that the CHP now hold the cities with the highest population and biggest economies, which are the most urbanized in Turkey. In the March 31 local elections, the Nation Alliance, formed by the CHP and the right-wing Good Party (İP), won in the three biggest cities Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir, along with other populous provinces such as Mersin, Antalya and Adana in a tight race with its rival People's Alliance, formed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Taking back the capital Ankara and Turkey's cultural and commercial capital Istanbul after 25 years was evaluated as a huge success. After thanking and congratulating the mayors, Torun underlined that the expectations of the voters is high and that the success in the mayoral elections will lead to success in the general elections. Taking the stage after Torun, party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu stressed that the presidential system brings together a degeneration in economy, a decrease in national income and it has "disgraced" the Turkish National Assembly and important government organs.
"Together, we will break out of this pessimistic picture," he said, expressing his hope for a better future.
During the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu also pointed out seven principles which he defined as "populist municipalism," including service without distinction, positive discrimination for poorer districts, transparency, efficiency and governing within the frames of justice.
Even though the CHP won the elections in Istanbul on March 31, the victory was annulled after the AK Party's objection over irregularities leading to a rerun of the elections. The CHP's candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu secured another victory in the June 23 redo elections.
"This is a great opportunity to show the voters the principles of our party. We will consolidate the trust of the voters with the transparent and inclusive municipalism understanding that we will develop together," Torun said, stressing once again that the party aims to win the hearts of the electors for the upcoming general elections in 2023. Meanwhile, CHP's Lüleburgaz [a district in western Kırklareli province] organization resigned on Friday amid intraparty disputes. Bülent Metin, who was the head of the district's organization of the party, expressed that they have resigned following some intraparty groups' attempts to "play upon" the organization's administration.
"For a long time, they have been claiming that the administration has been overthrown, will overthrow et cetera. After the local polls, there has been an operation launched to overthrow the administration. There were plays upon the administration. We've not bowed to these plays," Metin said following the resignation.
The CHP won the local polls in Lüleburgaz, receiving 66.55% of the votes.