Elections aftermath: Disagreements is raging between Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Ekrem İmamoğlu

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The dispute escalates between the leader of the Republican People’s Party, Kamal Kılıçdaroğlu, and the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu, who announced his desire to lead the party and make a comprehensive change after the general elections that took place in the country.

After Kılıçdaroğlu’s failure against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential elections, calls for his resignation from the presidency of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) increased.

Kılıçdaroğlu rejected calls for his resignation, and he formed a new central executive committee for his party last Sunday, all close to him, which increased the tension between him and İmamoğlu, who called for speeding up the process of change.

Less than 24 hours after the elections held on May 28, İmamoğlu hinted at his intention to run for the leadership of the Republican People’s Party, and said, “No one worries, everything starts again, remember the only thing that doesn’t change is change… An active movement within the party has begun”.

The Turkish media reported that Kılıçdaroğlu rejected names put forward by İmamoğlu within the party’s executive committee, and rejected a request made by the mayor of Istanbul to hold the conference before the March 2024 local elections, through which a new president for the party would be elected.

Last Wednesday, İmamoğlu made new statements, confirming his desire to bring about change under the leadership of the Republican People’s Party, refusing to be content with the change process in the Executive Committee that Kılıçdaroğlu brought about.

İmamoğlu said in a statement to reporters, “We realize that change is not only by replacing the board of directors… Not just me only; but the people wanted change”.

He added, “I am not one to escape responsibility for the sake of my ideals and I won’t hesitate to do so,” and continued, “I will follow my own path and follow events closely”.

He explained, “Unfortunately, we have lost three consecutive elections in 9 years… We cannot follow the same path”.

Behind the scenes, after Kılıçdaroğlu refused to step down, İmamoğlu demanded an appointment with him, and the two men met at the breakfast banquet, and the mayor of Istanbul called for a comprehensive change, including the leadership of the party, and expressed his willingness to be an engineer for that, which Kılıçdaroğlu refused and answered with “No”, insisting on his position that the conference will take place after the local elections.

Kılıçdaroğlu was planning to include names close to İmamoğlu and the head of the Istanbul district of the party, Canan Kaftancıoğlu, within the party’s presidential council, but after İmamoğlu announced his desire to assume the leadership of the party, Kılıçdaroğlu liquidated all the names close to him.

In the context of protecting himself, Kılıçdaroğlu blocked the path to a negative campaign against him, and linked all formations of the Republican People’s Party and linked them directly under his command, which prompted İmamoğlu to come out with public statements on Wednesday confirming his position on change.

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