CHP ‘broke 25 pct ceiling,’ party leader Özel says after surge in vote share in local elections

As the early results of the local elections show the main opposition CHP as the first party nationwide, the party leader Özgür Özel said his party has “broken the 25 percent ceiling.”

Duvar English

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Özgür Özel spoke around 10 p.m. local time as the early results suggested a “red wave” nationwide. As of 11:10 pm., the CHP was ahead of the AKP with 37.16 percent of the votes while 71.61% of the ballot boxes were counted according to the state-run AA.

Özel spoke at the CHP headquarters in the capital Ankara province.

Özel said “We observe that this relationship (with CHP) has been reciprocated by retirees, young people, unappointed teachers who feel ignored in society, internship victims, and all segments of society who want to be heard. As promised, the CHP has broken the 25 percent ceiling.”

“Although no alliance was formed with any political party in these elections, the power of the CHP and the conscience of the voters at the ballot box have made the 2019 alliance’s success even greater. We do not see these results as a victory that will lead us to complacency, but as a credit that the voters gave us. We are aware that this support from all voter groups, which has fundamentally changed the course of Turkish politics, places a great responsibility on our party. CHP is now the party of all democrats and at the same time the party where nationalist, conservative and Kurdish democrats can vote together at the same time,” he said.

Özel said the citizens in Turkey decided to establish a new politics, and added, “The voters have decided to change the 22-year picture of Turkey and open the door to a new political climate in our country. Today, in the first elections of the second century of the republic, voters decided to balance the disproportionate power of the government from the local level.”

He also emphasized that voters not only decided who will be in charge, but also how the country and municipalities should be governed.

“Our nation has given a clear message to those who made them poor, disrupt their peace, destroy democracy, and collapse the rule of law. Those who are ignored have given a clear message to those who govern the country today. This message, as I read it, as we read it, is as follows: We want our country to remain a rule of law, we want the lost rule of law to be restored. We oppose all forms of discrimination in our country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Özel criticized the state-run TV channel TRT for not allocating equal time with the ruling AKP, and said, "I said that I had a surprise for them. My surprise for them is that CHP is now the first party on TRT screens for the first time since 1977."

He also reminded that the government was marginalizing the society before the elections, and said, “We do not see anyone as national just because someone says so, or as non-national just because someone tries to portray them as such.”

Özel thanked the mayors who assumed the municipalities of Istanbul, Ankara, Mersin, Adana, and Antalya from the AKP in 2019, as well as all the CHP mayors of outside these municipalities.

On the other hand, he reminded the irregularities in the eastern and southeastern provinces, and said, “The fact that we succeeded in the election does not prove that this election was fair. Attempting to change the outcome of a local election by moving voters in the eastern and southeastern provinces is as bad as appointing trustees to the municipalities previously elected by those voters.”

Özel said according to their data they have won in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Eskişehir, Mersin, Muğla, Tekirdağ, İzmir, Istanbul, Balıkesir, Bursa, Manisa, and Denizli provinces.