Turkey’s largest opposition group moves for a change in leadership

Turkey’s largest opposition group moves for a change in leadership

Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) holds its general congress today, which will likely result in a leadership challenge to Party Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Despite a significant effort to prevent intraparty opposition, as many as three challengers will argue they can better oppose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The unprecedented leadership challenge highlights discontent with Kilicdaroglu,

turkey-chp

Photo: Reuters/Osman Orsal

Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) holds its general congress today, which will likely result in a leadership challenge to Party Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Despite a significant effort to prevent intraparty opposition, as many as three challengers will argue they can better oppose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The unprecedented leadership challenge highlights discontent with Kilicdaroglu, who has presided over the party’s parliamentary losing streak since 2010. He has been criticised for failing to effectively challenge Turkey’s expanding executive influence. Any leadership change is expected to focus efforts on reorganising Turkey’s opposition at a grass-roots level to more effectively mobilise discontent with the government’s increasing powers.

In the face of strong popular support for President Erdogan, expect the CHP congress to yield to significant internal pressure and elect a new chairman. Regardless, do not expect any significant change in the opposition’s electoral prospects in the near-term.

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