Presidental candidate talks begin for Nation Alliance

The six-party Nation Alliance has challenged President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s eligibility to run for the presidency in the upcoming elections on the grounds that the Turkish constitution stipulates that a person can run for the highest seat of the Turkish state only twice.

“In line with the provisions of the Constitution and the law, which leave no room for perplexity, it is not possible for Mr. Erdoğan to be a candidate in the elections to be held on May 14, unless the Parliament takes the decision to go to polls,” read the joint statement issued by the Nation Alliance late on Jan. 26 following a nine-hour long meeting.

The leaders of the alliance held their 11th meeting at the headquarters of the Good (İYİ) Party.

Erdoğan has already declared that he will run for the presidency as the joint candidate of the People’s Alliance. “The announcement of the president that he will run for the presidency for the third time constitutes another dark page of our history. We want to declare that we don’t accept this unlawfulness,” said the leaders.

The opposition recalls that Erdoğan was elected as the president in 2014 and 2018 and therefore cannot run for the third time. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials reject this approach by underlining that Türkiye shifted its system into the executive-presidential model in 2017 and Erdoğan’s election as the president in 2018 is his first victory.

“There is not any obstacle before our president’s running for the presidency in May,” Ömer Çelik, the spokesman of the AKP, said on Twitter, criticizing the Nation Alliance for undemocratic approaches.