Turkey’s main opposition CHP aims for 35 percent at elections
Ahmet Hakan ISTANBUL
AA PhotoThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is aiming to secure 34 to 35 percent of the votes in the June 7 general elections, despite opinion polls placing the party’s support at below 30 percent, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.
“Surveys currently project our votes at 29.5 percent. Our target is at 34–35,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on a visit to the daily Hürriyet headquarters in Ankara on Feb. 28.
The CHP netted nearly 26 percent of votes in the 2011 general elections, a figure that was nearly doubled by the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 50 percent.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said his party will aim to focus on economic issues in its campaign, as opposed to emphasizing problems regarding democracy and media freedom.
“Democracy and media freedom is a field of interest for intellectuals. We will focus our promises on the economy … If we come to power, Turkey will be a totally different country in four years. We will end poverty,” he vowed.
“We should tell the women at home what we will bring in for them,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the CHP needs to “reach housewives” to make progress.
The CHP leader also confirmed that the party has shaken hands with Ali Tarhan, a famous advertiser, for its election campaign.
Kılıçdaroğlu welcomed a Feb. 28 joint declaration from the government and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which included a call by Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), to the outlawed organization to discuss disarmament in Turkey.
“We would be happy with peace, and the silencing of weapons,” he said.
The CHP is also ready to vote on lowering the election threshold, which is currently at 10 percent, Kılıçdaroğlu pledged, adding that it would be unfair if the HDP is left out of parliament.
The HDP has decided to compete in the election as a party, rather than as individual candidates as in the past, declaring its confidence that it will surpass the threshold.