CHP in search of ways to woo vot­ers for lo­cal elec­tions

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

per­suade main­stream vot­ers to sup­port them in the March 2019 lo­cal elec­tions, the main op­po­si­tion Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Party (CHP) has been look­ing for a so­lu­tion. The party set the motto of “Get to know, lis­ten and do your neigh­bors a fa­vor” for the elec­tions.

THE MAIN op­po­si­tion Repub­li­can Peo­ple’s Party (CHP) con­tin­ues to look for strate­gies to at­tract the sup­port of main­stream vot­ers in the up­com­ing lo­cal elec­tions sched­uled for March 2019. The party adopted a new model of or­ga­niz­ing on the streets. Mil­liyet news­pa­per re­ported yes­ter­day that the CHP cre­ated a new model with the motto of “Get to know, lis­ten and do your neigh­bors a fa­vor” in a bid to at­tract new votes.

The model fore­sees or­ga­niz­ing each neigh­bor­hood, in­clud­ing 400 vot­ers in dis­tricts across the coun­try. A trained party re­spon­si­ble for these groups will be ap­pointed to main­tain open com­mu­ni­ca­tion channels with vot­ers.

The model re­port­edly was sub­mit­ted to in­cum­bent CHP Chair­man Ke­mal Kılıç­daroğlu dur­ing the party’s Cen­tral Ex­ec­u­tive Board (MYK) gather­ing on Mon­day. The model is planned to con­tinue even af­ter the March 2019 lo­cal elec­tions.

Through this model, the party seeks to gain the vot­ers’ sym­pa­thy and sub­se­quently their trust, and sup­port. The field­work of the or­ga­ni­za­tions in neigh­bor­hoods will be su­per­vised sys­tem­i­cally.

In early Oc­to­ber, the party urged its grass­roots to leave the elit­ist rhetoric and em­brace a rhetoric that would con­nect bet­ter with main­stream vot­ers and cen­ter­right vot­ers, who con­sti­tute the ma­jor­ity of the rul­ing Jus­tice and De­vel­op­ment Party’s (AK Party) voter base.

The CHP has been crit­i­cized by pun­dits for be­ing elit­ist as well as em­brac­ing a pedan­tic rhetoric and thus fail­ing to ap­peal to reg­u­lar vot­ers. The party has been tra­di­tion­ally suc­cess­ful in high-in­come dis­tricts and prov­inces and its spo­radic strongholds but has failed to earn ma­jori­ties in the sub­urbs and cen­tral, eastern and south­ern prov­inces. The party fre­quently nom­i­nates can­di­dates from rightwing grass­roots to gain broader sup­port, a move that is of­ten crit­i­cized by the CHP’s orig­i­nal voter base, caus­ing dilem­mas for the party’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mean­while, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, an over­whelm­ing num­ber of peo­ple ap­plied for CHP can­di­dacy in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties con­sid­ered guar­an­teed wins by the party, while the CHP suf­fers from a lack of can­di­dates in east and south­east re­gions where the party gath­ers al­most no votes. The CHP will not nom­i­nate deputies in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties con­sid­ered strongholds of the party.

Names of the can­di­dates are ex­pected to be de­ter­mined by Kılıç­daroğlu in con­sul­ta­tion with the party’s as­sem­bly, de­spite mount­ing de­mand for pri­mary elec­tions in the party or­ga­ni­za­tion. The party pre­vi­ously an­nounced around 150 names of can­di­dates for the dis­tricts and towns, and the names for prov­inces are ex­pected to be an­nounced on Nov. 14.

The party has re­port­edly de­ter­mined the names for cities such as Eskişe­hir, Ay­dın, Eskişe­hir, Ay­dın, Hatay, Balıke­sir, Bur­dur, Gire­sun, Bolu and Ko­caeli, but the names for the three big met­ro­pol­i­tan cities, Ankara, İzmir and Is­tan­bul have yet to be de­ter­mined. The party has re­port- edly set its sights on Ankara met­ro­pol­i­tan mu­nic­i­pal­ity and be­lieves that CHP vot­ers in the city have in­creased con­sid­er­ably com­pared to pre­vi­ous years.

The party has been un­der­scor­ing that they will nom­i­nate peo­ple who in­ter­nal­ized the cul­ture of the party and com­plies with the party dis­ci­pline in ev­ery mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the up­com­ing elec­tions.

The CHP was shaken by a com­plete de­feat in the June 24 elec­tions, con­trary to the hype cre­ated do­mes­ti­cally. The party ac­quired 22.6 per­cent of the vote - a lower level of sup­port com­pared to pre­vi­ous elec­tions. The votes in all the met­ro­pol­i­tan cities and the cities where the CHP at­tracts the ma­jor­ity of votes also de­creased con­sid­er­ably, ag­gra­vat­ing the de­feat of the party.

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