The opposition changes its leader after defeat by Erdogan

The opposition changes its leader after defeat by Erdogan

The Republican People’s Party has been divided since its candidate lost the controversial second round to the Turkish president in May.

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The new leader of the Turkish opposition Ozgur Ozil on November 5, 2023 in Ankara (Turkey).  (Osmankan Gurdogan / Anadolu)

Turkey’s main opposition party replaced its leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, on Sunday, November 5, with Ozgur Ozil, a still inexperienced former pharmacist, after a bitter electoral defeat by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Republican People’s Party (CHP, Social Democratic) has been divided since its candidate lost a closely contested runoff against the Turkish president in May.

At the party’s annual conference, delegates voted to replace Kemal Kilicdaroglu By the relatively unknown Ozgur Ozil, after squandering what many saw as the opposition’s best chance to oust President Erdogan. The 74-year-old unsuccessful candidate in the recent presidential elections lost his leadership position after two heated rounds of voting at the party conference, in favor of a candidate supported by the mayor of Istanbul. Ekrem Imamoglu.

Ozgur Ozel spent most of his career working as a pharmacist in the tourist city of Izmir, an opposition stronghold. He then became president of the Pharmacists Association of Turkey, and was elected to parliament in 2011. The 49-year-old parliament speaker won the final vote by 812 votes to 536, after presenting himself as the AKP’s candidate. “changes”. But the vote focused more on the personalities of the two men than on specific political trends.

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