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Senior Turkish opposition figure to stand for chairman

Muharrem Ince announced on Monday that he would challenge Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu to lead the Republican People’s Party, founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. The party, known by the Turkish acronym CHP, will hold an extraordinary congress on September 5 and 6 to decide a new leader, following a disappointing display in the presidential elections earlier this month. On Friday, Kilicdaroglu agreed to hold the congress after he was challenged by several of the party’s lawmakers. The center-left party selected a joint candidate with the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party and other opposition parties, against the wishes of many of the CHP's lawmakers. Their candidate, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, came second but with a lower than expected number of votes. Addressing reporters at the Turkish assembly, Ince, who quit his post to stand for chairman, said: "Although it is not a legal obligation, I resigned from my post. I just now submitted my petition and called the chairman." Claiming the current leadership lacks solutions for Turkey's problems, Ince said he would return the CHP to power. Ince, 50, was elected as a lawmaker by his hometown of Yolava in north-west Turkey in 2002. To stand against Kilicdaroglu, Ince must secure the support of at least 10 percent of congress delegates. To become chairman, he must win an absolute majority.

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