CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Kılıçdaroğlu, re-elected leader of the main opposition party in Turkey

Kılıçdaroğlu, who has led the Republican People’s Party (CHP) for 10 years despite criticism of his management of the Kemalist formation, was re-elected president without opposition.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), the main opposition party in Turkey, re-elected its current leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as president of the political formation during the 37th ordinary congress held on Saturday July 25 in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The party congress was held for two days at the Odeon Exhibition Centre at Bilkent University in Ankara; during the first day, the delegates elected the party president, while on the second day they voted for the 60 members of the CHP assembly.

Kılıçdaroğlu, who has chaired the CHP for the past 10 years, was presented as the sole candidate for the party’s presidency after the withdrawal of his rivals; three other possible candidates -Aytuğ Atıcı, Tolga Yarman and Ilhan Cihaner- were unable to gather the number of signatures necessary to apply for the position, so Kılıçdaroğlu attended the voting without opposition, receiving 1,251 valid and 67 invalid votes.

Elected in 2010 during the 33rd party congress to replace Deniz Baykal, who had to resign after a scandal due to the leak of a sex video in which he appeared to have relations with his then secretary, Kılıçdaroğlu has been leader of the main opposition party in Turkey for the last decade, despite criticism for its management and its inability to reach new voters. One of his main rivals has been former presidential candidate Muharrem İnce, who in 2018 received more votes than Kılıçdaroğlu himself.