The new A-team of the main opposition is set to win the local elections in Istanbul slated for 2013, its leader has said, announcing a new party organization totally focused on increasing the party’s votes in these elections.
“We are determined to take Istanbul. We are determined to save Istanbul residents from the AKP (Justice and Development Party). They should be able to live in a modern, trouble-free global city with more tourists than Paris attracts,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News. Kılıçdaroğlu said he had a number of candidates for the mayor of Istanbul in mind, but refrained from voicing them, adding that would travel to Istanbul more frequently in the coming period.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s 18-member Central Decision-Making Body (MYK) was announced yesterday, and is considered to be the team that will carry the CHP to three very important elections in the coming years.
While Bihlun Tamaylıgil retained her position as the general-secretary of the party, Gürsel Tekin returned to the inner-cabinet as responsible for the relations with the media, and Haluk Koç became the spokesperson of the party. Adnan Keskin, a veteran social democrat, is now responsible for the party’s provincial bodies and Şafak Pavey will deal with environmental and social policies. Prof. Sencer Ayata and former ambassador Faruk Loğoğlu remained in their positions.
Kılıçdaroğlu announced that the CHP would adopt a new organizational model based on the ballot boxes. “We’ll have two people responsible for each and every of the 200,000 boxes. We have established a computerized system which contains all the information about the electorate. We’ll be able to control of all provincial branches through the intranet system,” he said.
On the AKP’s plan to hold local elections six months earlier, Kılıçdaroğlu said they opposed the idea, as all elections should be held on time.
Fight against AKP
For Kılıçdaroğlu, the AKP’s plan to appoint important figures of the government to run in critical towns is not important. “It’s easy to fight against them. We have to hit the roads with candidates who have won the confidence of the people, who can solve the problems and introduce democracy to the local administrations,” he said.
The AKP’s record in local administration is a failure, he suggested, holding up Ankara and Istanbul as the most indicative examples to this. “In Istanbul, people wait in their cars for over five hours to cross the Bosphorus, Ankara has already turned into a village,” he said.
On presidential system debate, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who said Turkey’s system would be a semi-presidency after 2014 because the next president will be elected by popular vote.
“He [Bozdağ] does not know anything about the presidency,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that electing the president through popular vote was just a method and did not necessarily mean empowering him or her with additional powers.
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News / Göksel Bozkurt