The Supreme Election Board (YSK) has approved an earlier decision taken by a district election board over a complaint filed against the results of the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) newly formed Party Council, upholding the view that it is not in violation of the party’s affirmative action policy.
The CHP chose new members to its Party Council in a congress held over the weekend. Former CHP youth branches head Umut Tunç opposed the results, saying the procedure to meet the female quota enshrined in the party’s bylaws was not fully observed during the formation of the new Party Council. According to CHP bylaws, at least 17 women must serve on the Party Council, but only 15 won membership on the Party Council in the congress election.
Had the complaint been accepted by the district election council, then-CHP Deputy Chairman Gürsel Tekin, who is also CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s right-hand man, and former Diyarbakır Bar Association President Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a very important figure for Kurdish votes, could have lost their seats on the Party Council, as they received the fewest votes in Saturday’s Party Council election, and been replaced by two female members.
Both men were crossed off candidate lists by delegates who still remain loyal to the party’s former secretary-general, Önder Sav, ousted last month by Kılıçdaroğlu. Sav and Tekin are known to be sworn enemies, while Sav’s opposition to Tanrıkulu seems to be more politically motivated and mainly based on Tanrıkulu’s ethnic background and political standing on the Kurdish issue.
The Çankaya District Election Board dismissed the objection, a decision that was later upheld by judges at the YSK.
In a related development, the Çankaya District Election Board rejected yet another complaint against the new Party Council, this time filed on the grounds that two people who are not CHP members had been elected to the body.
Sources say Sav’s supporters will continue to file objections to the results of the congress over various reasons. Meanwhile, the CHP announced yesterday that the new Party Council, whose members were elected in the 15th extraordinary party congress on Saturday, will have its first official meeting at noon on Saturday.
The statement said council members will first attend a ceremony at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, to mark the 37th anniversary of the death of İsmet İnönü, Turkey’s second president and the man who replaced Atatürk after his death as chairman of the CHP.