Turkey’s opposition bloc is looking for a presidential candidate who would defeat President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the first round of the elections, main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kilicdaroglu has said.
The main opposition bloc, Nation Alliance, will not declare its presidential candidate until after an election date has been set, according to Gelecek Party sources. In 10 polls gathered by PATurkey between May and June, Erdogan loses the presidential race against all potential candidates. In a SONAR survey, he leads all potential candidates with a 40% poll rating, however the survey does not cover the second round.
The six opposition leaders who have held round table meetings since late 21 will determine the candidate jointly, Kilicdaroglu told daily BirGün. But they haven’t yet discussed names, he added.
“We haven’t discussed [who will be] the candidate. A schedule was not discussed, either. Because we should first present what we will do and how we will do that,” he said.
However, he noted, the candidate will not be a “symbolic” figure but a person who will “resolutely implement the decisions taken at the table [of the six leaders].”
Nation Alliance leaders will convene on 3rd of July once again, to determine the profile of the candidate. It is not official, but almost certain that the six parties will agree upon a joint candidate. That candidate can beat Erdogan in the first round, if pro-Kurdish HDP foregoes to join the contest with a candidate of its. Several polls reveal that Kurdish voters are more likely to vote for Kilicdaroglu, if their party fails to nominate a contestant.
Kilicdaroglu thinks the next election will probably be a two-candidate election and the opposition candidate will surely win.
About the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) talks with leftist parties to form a third alliance, he said, “There can be different alliances in the parliamentary election. But a joint candidate for the presidency would be more appropriate.”
And the joint candidate should reassure all parties that defend democracy, he said.
Opinion polls over the past year have shown that the HDP’s support is crucial for the opposition to defeat Erdoğan as neither alliance can surpass 50 percent of the votes, which is needed for the presidential election.
Erdoğan has declared himself as the candidate of the People’s Alliance of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and has recently pressed the opposition to announce their candidacy for the elections scheduled for June 2023.
“[Kilicdaroglu] is now after the presidency. But, instead of doing this like a man, he is trying to do this in a roundabout way, in accordance with his character,” he asserted in early June. (AEK/VK)
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