CHP leader signals nomination for 2019 presidency bid
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has hinted at his potential candidacy for the presidential election scheduled for 2019, while saying he will first consult his party.
“There hasn’t yet been any decision taken about the candidacy. I might be a candidate. When the time and place comes it will be discussed and a decision will be made accordingly,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Dec. 28 in an interview with private broadcaster Habertürk.
Turkey is due to hold local, presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019, with the constitutional amendment bringing about extensive changes in the executive system going fully into effect.
The successful presidential candidate requires at least 50 percent-plus-one-vote to be elected in the first round of the 2019 presidential race.
“In elections the aim should be [winning] 60 percent. In democracies, this percentage should be obtained. We should all come together under a democratic share,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
With the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hinting at a possible alliance for the 2019 elections, Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP will seek alliances “not on the basis of political parties but on the basis of democracy.”
“This is a matter beyond any one party. In the April 2017 constitutional amendment referendum people went beyond parties. In the 2019 election we should also provide that too. The referendum took place in an illegitimate environment and that must not happen in this election,” he added.
The CHP head reiterated his party’s rejection of the referendum result, saying the Supreme Board of Elections’ decision to deem unsealed ballot box papers valid and voting irregularities cast a shadow over the vote’s legitimacy.
Kılıçdaroğlu also responded to Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener’s Dec. 28 statement that her newly emerged party could support the CHP “in the second round” of the presidential elections.
“We thank her. Now I am announcing that we will also support whichever party reaches the second round of the election. Whoever is in favor of democracy, we approve them,” he said.
If any candidate is not able to receive more than 50 percent of the vote in presidential elections then the two candidates that received the most votes will compete in the second round.