Kılıçdaroğlu said to have told confidants he will not run for CHP leadership again

Renowned journalist Fatih Altaylı has written that CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told his party executives that he has no intention of running for either the CHP leadership or presidency ever again. Meanwhile, 62 percent of opposition voters demand Kılıçdaroğlu’s resignation, according to a newly conducted survey.

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Journalist Fatih Altaylı has said that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly told a couple of confidants that he will not nominate himself for either the party leadership or presidency ever again.

Altaylı made the remarks on his website on June 8, basing his opinion piece on backstage reports. In his piece titled “Kılıçdaroğlu: 'I will not become a candidate again',” Altaylı wrote that a couple of CHP executives whom Kılıçdaroğlu trusts a lot asked what the party's road path would be from now on and what the CHP leader intended to do. 

“Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has given a very clear and explicit answer: ‘This was my first and last presidential candidacy. I will not be a candidate for any position again, including the presidency,’” Altaylı wrote, adding that Kılıçdaroğlu does not yet plan to quit CHP leadership “at least until the local elections” scheduled for March 2024. 

One of Kılıçdaroğlu’s confidants reportedly told him to share this intention with the public to which the CHP leader “did not object” but also “did not say anything clear.”

62% of opposition voters demand Kılıçdaroğlu’s resignation: Survey

Meanwhile, polling company Betimar conducted a survey after the elections, asking participants if Kılıçdaroğlu should resign. The survey was conducted between May 31 – June 1 with 1,650 people who voted for the CHP, İYİ Party, Green Left Party, and Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP).

Some 62.4 percent of the participants said “Yes, he should,” while 37.6 percent said, “No, he should not.” These percentages varied among different party supporters. Some 53.1 percent of CHP voters demanded Kılıçdaroğlu’s resignation, whereas this number was 82.1 percent for İYİ Party voters, 55.2 percent for Green Left Party voters, and 88.4 percent for TİP voters.

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. He and several CHP executives have blamed the excessive use of state resources by Erdoğan and his 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.