Variety of presidential nominees is richness: CHP deputy chair

Variety of presidential nominees is richness: CHP deputy chair

ANKARA
Variety of presidential nominees is richness: CHP deputy chair

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will work in the coming period to announce its nominee for the presidential election scheduled for 2019, CHP Deputy Chair Bülent Tezcan has said, stressing that having a “variety of different candidates” in the opposition bloc should be seen as richness, rather than division.

“The presidential candidate we choose will use executive powers. They should be an active president. It is not possible for us to put forward a candidate that will simply be an element of ‘balance,’” Tezcan told daily Cumhuriyet in an interview published on Sept. 4

A number of those involved in campaigning against the constitutional changes in the April 2017 referendum will put forward candidates for the presidential campaign, but this should not be perceived as division, he added.

Touching on the possible candidacy of dissident opposition politician Meral Akşener, Tezcan said “many candidates means richness.”

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had earlier stated that the party’s presidential nominee will “not be a partisan” figure, but will rather be a name whose profile is “above political parties.” 

The candidacy of Kılıçdaroğlu is among the options, but the CHP will not immediately declare a name as a nominee for the 2019 presidential election, Tezcan stated.

He said the candidate may be a party member but their representative power should be above a single party. 

“The CHP was the load-bearer for the ‘No’ campaign in the referendum and in the ‘justice march.’ But if we intend to shape politics through this, saying ‘everything is ours,’ then that will put an end to this unity,” he added.

“That is why we are keeping the idea of ‘a nominee above parties’ on the agenda. If we do not keep this discourse on the agenda, we will harm the process,” Tezcan said.

The CHP deputy chair signaled the path forward to determining the party’s presidential nominee, saying “authorized councils” within the CHP will determine the candidate but in an “embracing attitude,” noting that the party will be in constant contact with other components of the opposition. 

The party’s presidential campaign will focus on the importance of the separation of powers and checks and balances, Tezcan said, adding that it will issue a declaration addressing Turkey’s many economic, social and political problems.

The CHP supports a return to the “democratic parliamentary system” and wants to change the current “one-man system,” Tezcan stated, adding that their candidate, if elected as president, will work to strengthen the separation of powers and checks on executive authority.

If the CHP wins a majority in parliament, it will ease circumstances paving the way for a new, inclusive and democratic constitution to be written,  he added.

Tezcan also stressed that the CHP is not pursuing a “party organization” structure for the 2019 presidential campaign.

“But if we start describing the details and organizational structure of this big umbrella, it will be undermined from the very beginning. The chance of success will be destroyed,” he said, emphasizing “unity of attitude” rather than “unity of association.”