The Homeland Party has nominated its chairman Muharrem İnce as the presidential candidate amid growing pressure from the opposition alliance for supporting the joint candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
İnce, a former member of the CHP, parted ways with Kılıçdaroğlu over disagreements and founded his own party in 2021. He ran as the presidential candidate of the CHP in the 2018 elections and garnered around 30 percent of the votes in which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the presidency.
İnce is planning to submit his candidacy by securing more than 100,000 appeals from the people in line with the law.
“There is no need for fuss. There are still 60 days left. Why do they want me to give up now? Let’s run our campaign and it will perhaps be me who will win,” İnce told reporters over the weekend. İnce referred to mounting criticisms that his candidacy would only work to the advantage of Erdoğan.
“We will evaluate in accordance with the developments. Don’t worry, we won’t do anything to the disadvantage of Türkiye. No need for pressure,” he said, hinting he can withdraw his candidacy a few days before the polls to support Kılıçdaroğlu.
In the meantime, some CHP officials and former leaders of the party have been exerting efforts to convince İnce to return to the CHP.
“We expect that Muharrem İnce will withdraw his bid to support Kılıçdaroğlu. He is a smart and logical person. I am hopeful that he will return to his home,” Gürsel Erol, a deputy from the ranks of the CHP, was quoted as saying by local media on March 13.