İmamoğlu asked Kılıçdaroğlu to declare he won’t run for CHP leadership, says renowned journalist

Journalist İsmail Saymaz has said that Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has asked main opposition CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to declare that he will not run for CHP leadership again to pave the way for change.

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Renowned journalist İsmail Saymaz has said in his column that Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has asked main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to declare that he will not run for the party leadership again. 

According to Saymaz, Kılıçdaroğlu asked İmamoğlu if he had an intention to be the leader of the CHP during their last meeting. In response, İmamoğlu said “Of course I would like to be.”

“İmamoğlu said he wanted holistic change, not limited to leadership. 'Give me a hand, let's do it together,' he said to Kılıçdaroğlu. He even suggested to Kılıçdaroğlu that the latter should declare the change,” Saymaz said on June 17 in his column at daily Sözcü.

Accordingly, İmamoğlu added “If we do not make the change, we will lose the local elections. If we do not want to lose, we must make the change as soon as possible.”

In response, Kılıçdaroğlu asked “What will happen to Istanbul?,” referring to İmamoğlu’s mayorship. İmamoğlu added that they might lose the municipality without radical change in the 2024 local elections.

İmamoğlu then reportedly asked Kılıçdaroğlu to make a statement at the next parliamentary group meeting, declaring that he will not run for the CHP leadership again.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan beat Kılıçdaroğlu in the second round of the presidential elections on May 28 with 52.18 percent of the votes.

In the May 14 parliamentary elections, the CHP received 25.41 percent of the votes, falling short of expectations, ending up having 169 seats in the parliament out of 600 while leaving the majority to the ruling alliance. 

After the losses, there has been a call for a change within the CHP, but Kılıçdaroğlu has yet shown no intention to resign. 

After President Erdoğan’s election victory, İmamoğlu said that change is inevitable and they cannot expect different outcomes with the same methods.

Kılıçdaroğlu has been the leader of the CHP since 2010.