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The CHP in the June and November 2015 Elections: An Evaluation on Political Impasse

The electoral will reflected at the ballot box on November 1 confirmed the hegemony of the AK Party in Turkey’s party system and raised numerous questions about the future of its opposition parties. Having attempted an ideological and organizational restructuring, following the election of Kılıçdaroğlu as the chairman, the CHP did not garner enough “voting power” to meet its expectations at the ballot box on November 1, just as it failed to do so for the June 7 elections. CHP’s inability to increase its votes by even half a point with respect to the June 7 elections indicates that the party is facing a significant deadlock and has been unable to increase its votes. CHP’s election results reflect political stalemate despite the efforts of its leader in the last two elections and his statements, which appear to respond to the concerns and demands of the voters. This paper shall focus on the political impasse the CHP faced during the November 1, 2015 elections and the reasons for its continued weak electoral performance.

The CHP in the June and November 2015 Elections An
The leader of CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, during a speech in İzmir’s electoral campaign. AA PHOTO / MAHMUT SERDAR ALAKUŞ
 

The CHP from the June 7 to November 1 Elections 

Having considerably resolved its internal problems following the 18th Party Convention, the CHP had two remaining tasks to complete for the June 7 elections. The first was to designate the parliamentary candidates and the second was to appear before the electorate with an electoral declaration comprising of assertive pledges to attract more voters.1 The CHP accomplished more than what was expected. By carrying out an internal election prior to the national elections, the CHP took an important step towards becoming a modern social-democratic party and adopting the principle of institutionalizing intra-party democracy. Abiding by the preferences of party members in these internal elections, the party administration placed the candidates who obtained the most votes at the top positions of the parliamentary candidate lists.

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