AKP to reveal presidential candidate by end of June
‘The AK Party does not rush in announcing its candidate. While speaking of mid-May and then late May, now, it seems like an announcement is likely with June 29 approaching,’ Deputy PM Bülent Arınç told reporters. AA photoDeputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has set the end of June as the deadline for the announcement of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate to run in the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for August.
Over the last few months, ruling party executives have suggested various dates for the announcement, and candidates must file their official applications starting June 29.
Neither the ruling AKP, which is highly likely to nominate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for president, nor the opposition parties have yet nominated a candidate.
Speaking with television bureau chiefs in Ankara on June 13, Arınç recalled that the Supreme Election Board (YSK) has set July 3 as the final date for the official submission of presidential candidates. Parliament is not likely to go into recess before July 1, he added.
‘It will be this’
“When the issue is who might the AKP’s candidate be, I’m aware almost all of you say, ‘With 90 percent certainty, it will be this,’” Arınç said, suggesting that the public widely expects Erdoğan to run for president.
“However, the AK Party does not rush in announcing its candidate. While speaking of mid-May and then late May, now, it seems like an announcement is likely with June 29 approaching,” he added, underlining that the ruling party had almost finalized its consultations over its candidate.
“What matters here is the opposition’s candidate,” he said.
Arınç indicated that he believes efforts by the leaders of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to name a joint candidate strong enough to compete against Erdoğan have yet to yield a positive sign.
“I guess the AKP is waiting for them [the opposition parties] to name their potential candidates,” Arınç said.
The two-round elections, during which Turks will directly vote for the president for the first time ever, are scheduled to take place Aug. 10 and Aug. 24.
In early June, acknowledging that Erdoğan would declare his candidacy for the presidency, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay suggested the more urgent question facing the government was convincing incumbent President Abdullah Gül to lead the ruling party in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in 2015.
At the time, Atalay defined the magic formula as a “Putin-Medvedev model,” under which Gül and Erdoğan would swap roles.