MHP leader hopeful for joint presidential candidate with CHP
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli and Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu shake hands ahead of their meeting on May 30. AA PhotoNationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said he is hopeful of agreeing on a joint presidential candidate with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), but added that no specific name was discussed during his meeting with CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on May 30.
“I want to say that I’m hopeful,” Bahçeli told reporters after the meeting. “No name was mentioned. It should be known that the MHP is focused on principles rather than names.”
The two opposition leaders met as part of their separate consultations on the upcoming presidential election, and it was their first meeting since Bahçeli’s proposal to Kılıçdaroğlu to stand against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with a combined candidate.
The MHP head said the main reason for the meeting was to seek ways to avoid a crisis over the presidential elections. “If necessary, we’ll meet again,” he said.
For his part, Kılıçdaroğlu described the meeting as “very useful.” Echoing Bahçeli, Kılıçdaroğlu said they had not mentioned any specific names, but rather broader principles and criteria.
Earlier in the day, the CHP head met representatives of a number of trade unions and civil society organizations as part of his consultations. “The presidential election process is very important. We will continue to talk with civil society and non-governmental organizations. Then we’ll try to make our own decision. We are trying to pursue a healthy, appropriate policy that will be in line with everybody’s expectations,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.