During the congress, which is being held in the Ankara Arena Sports Hall, the party is not seeking to change its leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. However, its 60-member Party Council will undergo a complete overhaul.
Speaking during the congress, for which the party has chosen the slogan “Democracy and change,” the CHP leader said his party has achieved many things in the past two years following his election to the party's top post in May 2010. “Every congress transformed us. We will continue to change, transform and renew,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu held a series of talks with his deputies and provincial chairmen to decide upon a final list of candidates to stand for the congress. More than 1,200 delegates will cast votes to elect the council, completely reshaping the party's Central Executive Board (MYK).
A large number of artists, academics, writers and scientists are participating in the congress after receiving invitations from the CHP's administration last week. In addition, roughly 1,000 reporters are covering the congress.
Initial news reports suggested that the ex-leader of the main opposition party, Deniz Baykal, will attend the congress, but it is uncertain if former Secretary-General Önder Sav will participate. Kılıçdaroğlu is known to be at odds with both men.