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Turkey’s principal opposition occasion elects Ozgur Ozel as new chief

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ISTANBUL — Turkey’s principal opposition occasion voted for recent management within the early hours of Sunday, 5 months after a devastating election defeat that noticed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prolong his two-decade rule.

Ozgur Ozel changed Kemal Kilicdaroglu after delegates of the Republican Individuals’s Occasion, or the CHP, elected him as new chief. The leads to a second spherical of voting — held in a sports activities corridor in Ankara — noticed Ozel take 812 of 1,366 delegate votes to change into the CHP’s eighth chief.

Talking from the stage in entrance of hundreds of flag-waving CHP members, Ozel — his voice hoarse with pleasure — promised the cheering crowd a brighter political future and “to make folks smile.”

Dissent unfold amongst members of the CHP after the occasion didn’t capitalize on dire financial circumstances in Turkey and the fallout from February’s earthquakes to oust Erdogan in parliamentary and presidential elections in Could. On the time, pre-election polls had predicted a robust exhibiting for the CHP’s former chief Kilicdaroglu in what many noticed because the opposition’s biggest likelihood to unseat Erdogan since he took workplace in 2003.

However Erdogan secured his third presidential time period in a run-off vote.

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Ozel stated in his profitable speech Sunday that he would mobilize the occasion instantly to “compensate for the nice disappointment” of Could’s election defeat.

Kilicdaroglu, 74, had led the occasion since 2010, and ever since, the CHP didn’t win a single nationwide election though it scored important victories in native elections in 2019, taking a handful of main cities — together with Ankara and Istanbul.

The previous occasion head was criticized for not standing down after dropping Could’s election.

A name for change on the high of the CHP was led by Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, one of many occasion’s most distinguished figures and an outspoken critic of the best way the occasion ran Could’s election marketing campaign.

Others additionally complained that the secularist CHP — established by Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — had change into undemocratic, with an excessive amount of energy within the chief’s arms.

Ozel, 49, is a former pharmacist who was elected to parliament in 2011. He’ll lead the occasion in native elections in March in a bid to carry onto the cities it took 5 years earlier.

“We won’t cease, we’ll work, we’ll work shoulder to shoulder, we’ll regain all of the municipalities we (at present) have, we’ll add new ones and collectively we’ll win an ideal victory,” Ozel stated.

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