Duvar English

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Aug. 13 issued a statement answering the allegations of its former presidential candidate Muharrem İnce who earlier in the day announced his breakaway political movement.

İnce held a press meeting on Aug. 13 to kick off “The Country in 1,000 Days Movement.” During the meeting, he said that the CHP had not financially supported his presidential campaign back in 2018 in a sufficient way. The CHP refuted this claim saying that the party had provided a financial support of 82 million Turkish liras for İnce’s presidential campaign in 2018. “The total budget of the previous election campaign was on the other hand only 16 million Turkish liras,” the CHP’s written statement read.

İnce was the CHP’s presidential candidate in the June 24, 2018 elections. His stance on the night of the election is still being criticized by the opposition since he was nowhere to be found when people were trying to prevent a possible fraud in ballot boxes. He conceded the defeat against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through a WhatsApp message to a journalist. His political career subsequently weakened.

İnce on Aug. 13 accused the CHP of excluding him from the vote-counting process on the night of the election. “On the day of the election, our party spokesperson Bülent Tezcan called our presidential candidate at 4.30 p.m. and invited him to watch the election results at the headquarters with our chairman, but this invitation did not find an acceptance by our presidential candidate,” read the CHP’s statement.

The CHP’s statement also said that the party wanted to inform İnce a week before the elections about how the process of data flow will run on the night of election as well as how the coordination between party members will function. The CHP said that İnce however did not want to be informed about this process.

The CHP also addressed İnce’s accusations that the party rather focused on promoting chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu than himself during the election campaign. “Along with the presidential campaign, the parliamentary election was also held. In this campaign run for the two elections, billboards promoted presidential campaign at a ratio of 1/3 whereas films promoted presidential campaign at ratio of 1/5.”

The party also slammed İnce’s accusations of CHP officials not protecting the ballot boxes against possible fraud on the night of the election. “The CHP protected the ballot boxes more than ever before [at that election]. This work was not only conducted by the party, but also with the support of political parties of the Nation Alliance and NGOs,” the party’s statement read.

Another accusation of İnce was that the CHP did not thank Kurdish voters who supported the party in the presidential election. The CHP said in response that Kılıçdaroğlu and the party spokespeople have thanked “all voters who voted from CHP candidates.” “The CHP knows the value of every vote it receives and genuinely thanks all parties’ voters that protect the democracy,” the party said.