The CHP’s power struggle has been decided: the dual leadership of party leader Ozgur Ozil and Ekrem Imamoglu is supposed to pull the Social Democrats out of the depths.
Istanbul. Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) wants to emerge from the recession with new leadership and generational change: the party’s former leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, was ousted at the party congress in Ankara by a new dual leadership consisting of the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, and the new party leader, Ozgur Ozil. Ozil said that as leader of the Republican People’s Party, he wants to turn despair into new hope. He was sworn in to the party in local elections in March, with Imamoglu wanting to defend his position as Istanbul mayor so he can run as the CHP’s presidential candidate against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2028. But it will be difficult for the CHP to get off the ground. New because the party is deeply divided.
The nearly 1,400 delegates at the party’s congress elected 49-year-old Ozil as president in a second round on Sunday. Ozil, a trained pharmacist and former head of the CHP parliamentary group, received 812 votes, and 74-year-old Kılıçdaroglu received 536 votes. He expected defeat to come and left the party conference while the votes were being counted.
The vote ended Kılıçdaroğlu’s 13-year term as head of Turkey’s oldest party. The secular Republican People’s Party describes itself as social democrats, but has long supported the Turkish military’s claim to power. The party, which represents a quarter of Turkish voters, last participated in government about 30 years ago and has lost almost every election since 2010. The biggest success was victories in the 2019 local elections, in which the CHP seized power in Istanbul and Ankara.
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