MHP leader denies candidacy offer to Turkish president
President Gül (R) meets with opposition MHP leader Bahçeli in Ankara. The latter is carrying a round of talks on a possible presidental candidate.Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has denied reports that he suggested to President Abdullah Gül that the latter run once more for president in August polls as part of an umbrella initiative.
“Why would we hide if we had made such a proposal?” Bahçeli said in a televised interview on May 28.
Daily Hürriyet reported yesterday that such a proposal came during a meeting between the duo on May 21, but the president had kindly rejected the offer, noting that he was one of the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and that two candidates from the same party would violate political ethics.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is widely expected to run for the presidency even though he has yet to make a formal announcement about his candidacy.
Bahçeli had earlier announced that his party was searching for a candidate that would overcome the polarization in Turkey and who would “embrace all layers of society, stand equidistant to all kinds of religious, ethnic, denominational and social segments and remain loyal to nationalist, conservative and moral values.”