Erdoğan cleared to run for presidency as prime minister
ANKARATurkey’s top election body has ruled that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not need to leave his current post as he campaigns to be the country’s first-ever president elected by popular vote.
The Higher Election Board (YSK) unanimously ruled on July 12 that Prime Minister Erdoğan has a constitutional right to run for presidency while keeping his post. The board unanimously rejected all 15 applications demanding the YSK to force Erdoğan to resign.
The opposition parties have been calling on Prime Minister Erdoğan to resign “to ensure an equal race” for presidency.
“If you claim to run for presidency, you should fulfill two things: First, give up your lies. Second, run against Mr. Ekmeleddin under equal conditions. If you don’t resign from the Prime Ministry, you are not racing equally,” CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in his weekly parliamentary group meeting on July 8.
“There is a concept of equality of opportunity. It’s the core of democracies. You don’t believe in it. Equality of opportunity applies to the economy, education, social life and politics,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
The YSK also ruled that political party leaders can remain in their posts during the election campaign. Erdoğan is the leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), while one of his two opponents, Selahattin Demirtaş, is the co-chair of the People’s Democracy Party (HDP).
The first round of the presidential elections will be held on Aug. 10.