Minister says AKP aims for Erdoğan victory with '90 percent of votes'

Minister says AKP aims for Erdoğan victory with '90 percent of votes'

SİVAS – Doğan News Agency
Minister says AKP aims for Erdoğan victory with 90 percent of votes

İsmet Yılmaz has targeted an ambitious 90 percent of the votes for Erdoğan in the upcoming August presidential elections. DHA Photo

The Turkish defense minister has said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could win the upcoming August presidential elections with 90 percent of the votes through “good work” during the campaign.

“This government has given self-esteem to the people. Our people are grateful and loyal. Hopefully [Erdoğan will win] with 90 percent of the votes, if we work well,” said Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, after a fast-breaking event in the Central Anatolian city of Sivas on July 7.

“Erdoğan [becoming president] means a member of each family being there,” said Yılmaz, claiming that incumbent President Abdullah Gül’s predecessor, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, did not represent “the people.”

Yılmaz dismissed the chances of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the joint candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), of winning the electoral race.

“Nobody believes it. Everyone asks who is going to replace Erdoğan when he becomes president. Even this question shows how clear the presidency is for the people” he said.

Three candidates – Erdoğan, İhsanoğlu and Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş – have announced their candidacy for Turkey’s first ever presidential election through popular vote. The election will be held in two rounds, with the first on Aug. 10, and if no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a second round will be held on Aug. 24.