Provincial chairmen of Turkey's main opposition party met in Ankara prior to the general congress meeting this weekend on Tuesday.
Ali Yildizli, provincial chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) in Ankara, said after the meeting that 77 out of 81 chairmen extended their support to Kemal Kilicdaroglu who decided to stand as a candidate for leadership of the political party.
Kilicdaroglu, born in 1948 in eastern province of Tunceli, ran for mayor of Istanbul in the local elections of March 2009, but lost against Justice and Development (AK) Party's Kadir Topbas. He won 36.8% of all votes.
Former chairman Deniz Baykal resigned last week, a couple of days after the scandalous appearance of an alleged footage featuring him having an affair with a female CHP deputy who was his ex-secretary. The video purporting to show him in a bedroom with his female colleague had been posted on the Internet.
It was only the CHP city heads of Antalya, Agrı, Izmir and Samsun who refused to support him. City heads will meet Deniz Baykal on Wednesday.
After Baykal' resignation, Kilicdaroglu said at a news conference on Monday that he would stand as a candidate for party leadership.
CHP's general congress will be held on May 22-23. During the congress gathering, new leader of the political party will be elected.
Baykal argued that the tape was a "conspiracy" before resigning saying that he was leaving the post to enable a change in CHP. Baykal is married with two children.
The 71-year-old Baykal led the CHP since 1992. Critics say Baykal's domination of the CHP had stifled chances for younger politicians who could have made the party more progressive and appealing to Turkish voters.
Related news reports:Last Mod: 19 Mayıs 2010, 16:14