Ozgur Ozel was elected the new president of the Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP), in the second round of internal party elections, during the crucial 38th congress of the main opposition party in Turkey.

The CHP parliamentary representative received 812 votes, compared to his opponent and current CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who received 536 votes.

In the first round of the election race, Özgür Ozel finished first with the positive vote of 682 delegates and failed to secure an absolute majority by only two votes. Ozel was a candidate of the wing calling for change in the party, after the CHP’s defeat in May’s presidential election, and he had the support of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the so-called presidential candidate, who entered the elections with the slogan of renewal, had received 664 votes in the first round.

The CHP is the party founded by Kemal Atatürk, just weeks before he declared the Turkish Republic 100 years ago. This is the political force that par excellence expresses the Kemalist ideology in Turkey today.

Ozgur Ozel was born on September 21, 1974 in Magnesia, western Turkey. He is a pharmacist by profession, active in collective bodies of pharmacists in his hometown and in Turkey. Since 2011 he has been elected MP for Magnesia in the Turkish National Assembly. He was deputy chairman of the CHP Parliamentary Group from 24 June 2015 to 3 June 2023, when he was elected chairman of the party’s Parliamentary Group.

In the 13 years he was CHP president, Kemal Kilicdaroglu did not manage to defeat the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in any election.