Main opposition CHP open to MHP’s ‘joint candidate’ proposal
Şükrü KÜÇÜKŞAHİN ANKARA – Hürriyet
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has left the door open to the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) proposal of naming “a joint presidential candidate” to stand against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential election, scheduled for August.
“[MHP leader Devlet] Bahçeli will propose a name to us. Why should we oppose it if the person [nominated] is also suitable for us? The same is valid for the name that we would propose as well. We will discuss in a better way after these names have been decided,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet on May 9.
Kılıçdaroğlu said the president’s particular qualifications should be discussed before talking about who will run. “What kind of a president do the people want? This should be asked to the people. A shady person or a clear one? Someone who divides society into different camps or someone who embraces all of them?” he said.
The president should be someone “mature, tolerant and not someone scolding the people,” the CHP chief added, emphasizing that this position “represented the Turkish people and its flag.”
Kılıçdaroğlu said the qualifications cited as necessary for the next president by MHP head Bahçeli were also acceptable to him.
“Of course, the president should be at peace with the people’s values. Of course, the president should be a nationalist and someone loyal to secularism and the rule of law. These are not qualifications that we can reject. Now, it is seen that each party will decide on its candidate after conducting meticulous work. If we share these views, then the combined candidate can get a general acceptance from the people,” he said.
The CHP leader also stressed that he would be meeting other political parties, trade unions, chambers of commerce, and business organizations to ask them who they think should run in the election.
[HH] Gül should be vocal
Another issue that Kılıçdaroğlu touched on was Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s claims that members close to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen are responsible for wiretapping the president and the chief of the general staff. Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan had refused to give more information about these claims despite being called on to do so. “That’s why I’m now calling on the president to inform the people about this blackmailing,” he said.
The CHP head even suggested that President Gül and the army chief had been wiretapped “with Erdoğan’s knowledge.”
“If Erdoğan does not make a statement on this, then the president and the chief of the general staff should. They should disclose whether they have been blackmailed or not. If a country’s president reacts against wiretappings and remains silent about blackmailing, than it shows that there is a problem there,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.