ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

On Saturday, Kılıçdaroğlu met with his party’s provincial organization leaders and asked them to work relentlessly for the 2011 elections.
Turkey’s Republican People’s Party, or CHP, began Sunday its preparations for next year’s general elections with a pledge to present a “positive opposition” while it focuses on the country’s problems.
“We will try to keep ourselves away from artificial debates and will instead focus on how we can contribute to the solutions of the country’s fundamental problems,” CHP spokesman Hakkı Süha Okay told reporters after a party assembly. “We will embrace positive opposition approaches.”
The assembly convened under the leadership of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for the first time since last month’s constitutional referendum both to analyze the poll’s results – in which the CHP-backed “no” campaign received 42 percent of the vote – and review the party’s strategy ahead of next year’s general elections, which must be held no later than July.
Okay said the assembly discussed the results of the referendum in detail, along with measures that will be necessary to ensure success in the coming elections.
The first indication of the CHP’s “positive opposition” came last week as the party announced it would actively participate in a non-partisan commission to be formed under by Parliament to start rewriting the Constitution.
The spokesman said the CHP supported beginning the redrafting process immediately without waiting for next year’s general elections. In recent years, the CHP rejected the speaker of Parliament’s calls for the creation of similar commissions.
The CHP spokesman also said the party had decided to draft a comprehensive roadmap for the next general elections and that a commission was ready to begin coordinating this work. The commission will submit a plan to Kılıçdaroğlu on how the general election campaign should be developed based on the events in the referendum.
On Saturday, Kılıçdaroğlu met with his party’s provincial organization leaders and asked them to work relentlessly for the 2011 elections.
“Some 42 percent of the ‘no’ votes have proven that we should no longer remain as the main opposition party. We have to focus on becoming the government. We have no luxury for inner-party fights,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “The referendum was our first test. Now the general elections are ahead. I want all my provincial leaders go out and meet with the people wherever they are. We will tell about the party and its policies even to those who are against us.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said it was important that his party members canvass while correctly informing the public about the CHP’s policies, noting that some officials in the European Union had been misled about the party’s platform, believing it was “in favor of the status quo” and “against reforms.”
“To the contrary, how can a party that has a revolutionary spirit be in favor of the status quo?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked. “We are in favor of changes, a transformation that would improve democracy and make our society much more modern.”
No extraordinary convention on horizon
Meanwhile, the party’s 81 provincial leaders rejected a call from former CHP chief Deniz Baykal to hold an extraordinary convention to revise the party’s internal regulations and oust current Secretary-General Önder Sav.
Kılıçdaroğlu said Sunday that Baykal’s call was not on the CHP’s agenda for the moment.