Turkish opposition set to elect new leader after scandal

Kilicdaroglu will be running for chairman of Turkey's main secularist opposition party after its leader resigned over a sex scandal

Turkish opposition set to elect new leader after scandal


World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) will hold its 33rd congress in Ankara this weekend.

1,250 CHP delegates will vote to elect new chairman of the party on Saturday after former chairman Deniz Baykal resigned on May 10 following a video scandal. Baykal is not expected to attend the party congress.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a deputy from Istanbul, is the only candidate running for CHP chairman. If he is elected, Kilicdaroglu will become 7th chairman of CHP which was founded in 1923.

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.

On Sunday, CHP delegates will also elect members to party's executive bodies.

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.

The country's next election is due by July 2011, when the AK Party will seek a third term in power.


Last Mod: 21 Mayıs 2010, 16:07
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