Monday, June 7, 2010

Kings and Kingmakers

CHP Secretary-General Onder Sav has given an interview with Ege’de Son Söz in which he reveals some details as to what was going on iside the CHP during Baykal's resignation and Kilicdaroglu's subsequent election. In the interview, Sav said he had no knowledge of Baykal's plans to resign and the most recent CHP congress would have begun without a firm candidate in place had it not been for his support of Kilicdaroglu. Even more interestingly, Sav intimates that his support of Kilicdaroglu was meant to block Baykal's possible election. From Hurriyet Daily News:
Although the former chief had not shared his plans to resign, Sav said Baykal’s announcement did not come as a surprise. “Maybe if [Baykal] had sat down and talked to me, we could have kept him in a bigger and different [status]. Or the stages after the resignation might have been discussed and evaluated together,” Sav told Ege’de Son Söz.

The general-secretary said he had sensed in Baykal’s resignation speech an intention on the part of the former leader to return, a move he said would have been wrong. Sav said he had made this opinion clear when he gave a speech in Parliament saying Baykal had taken his place in history as one of the “unforgettable [former] leaders of the CHP.” He said he also addressed party members who wanted Baykal to return under any circumstances, telling them that in such a situation, nobody could run for the position of chair for fear of being labeled a traitor or conspirator.

The general-secretary also said the party members who staged a sit-down strike in front of Baykal’s house were “ridiculous” and blamed Istanbul Deputy Mustafa Sevigen for organizing the protest without authorization.

Baykal made the right decision to not run against Kılıçdaroğlu, even if he only chose not to after an absolute majority of the CHP’s provincial heads and deputies united behind the new candidate, Sav said.
Just what tole Sav will have in the "new CHP" is unclear, as is what his influence will be over Kilicdaroglu. Again, time will tell.

For background, see May 23 post.

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