Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on June 07 publicly declared that his party needs to radically change following the presidential and parliamentary election loss.
“Let's underline this. Unfortunately, we have lost three (presidential) elections in a row in nine years. After (the 2023) election, we cannot fall into the negligence of continuing our road by doing the same things. CHP is the most important political party in the history of the Republic,” İmamoğlu said in Istanbul while speaking in a meeting regarding the municipality.
He said “Our state, our nation has always been in front of everything for me. Political parties are a tool. Change is a very important concept. In my statement last week, I actually mentioned (the need of) a strong change clearly; a total change, a change of understanding, a radical and detailed change. I am in the strongest position to demand the understanding of change.”
Referring to the change in the Central Executive Board (MYK) members of the CHP, İmamoğlu said “Change cannot happen with a single board. Society wants change, not just me. It is not possible to walk the road without hearing them. It is essential to understand what everyone wants.”
The Istanbul Mayor also hinted that he might take initiatives to lead the change in his party. “For the sake of my ideals, I never hesitated to take responsibility for everything. I will continue to be a soldier of democracy. I am following the process,” he added.
Renowned journalist İsmail Saymaz on June 5 said that İmamoğlu has asked Kılıçdaroğlu that he pioneer the change within CHP, but Kılıçdaroğlu turned down this demand.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan beat opposition’s presidential candidate and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on the second round of the presidential election on May 28 with 52.18% of the votes.
In the May 14 parliamentary elections, CHP received 25.41% 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 shown no intention to resign and of self-criticism yet. He was very precisely arguing that he would beat Erdoğan in the election. He and several CHP executives now blame the excessive use of state resources by Erdoğan and the latter's polarizing rhetoric for the election loss. However, they still have not released a detailed statement for the opposition voters to explain the election loss.
Last week, the majority of the CHP’s Central Executive Board (MYK) members resigned, with Kılıçdaroğlu appointing new names for the posts. However, the new names showed no sign of change, on the contrary increasing Kılıçdaroğlu’s power within the party.