Alliance to decide opposition’s presidential candidate: CHP leader
The opposition’s candidate for presidency will be decided after consultations within the Nation Alliance, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, amid discussions about his potential bid for the prestigious post.
“The issue of the presidential candidate is not something I can decide on my own. There is a Nation Alliance. We will decide on that all together,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with daily Sözcü on Dec. 9.
During the parliamentary discussions on the government’s 2021 budget, Kılıçdaroğlu asked ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers, “Who told you whether or not I will be a candidate?” after a group of the ruling party MPs loudly challenged him to run for presidency, in reference to the 2014 and 2018 presidential elections in which the main opposition leader chose not to be a candidate.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s words have not been seen as an indication of his willingness to run in the next presidential polls. But he clarified that this was not right time to talk about the candidacy as it would be disrespectful to the members of the oppositional coalition.
“It will be our party, our lawmakers and the Nation Alliance that will decide on the candidacy. Because we act all together,” he suggested, repeating that the most important issue was the agreement of the Nation Alliance on the return to the strengthened parliamentary system.
“We are not focusing on the career of individuals but the future of our country. This is what the AKP lawmakers don’t understand,” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s candidacy would be right for his party: Erdoğan
In the meantime, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is also the head of the AKP, has commented on the potential bid of Kılıçdaroğlu for the presidency at a press conference he held before his departure to Baku.
“It’s not to our concern what kind of a move Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu will make. It’s their own problem,” he said. “But if he will be a candidate then it would be a right move for his party and for our country.”