‘Who told you I won’t run for presidency,’ Kılıçdaroğlu asks AKP MPs

‘Who told you I won’t run for presidency,’ Kılıçdaroğlu asks AKP MPs

‘Who told you I won’t run for presidency,’ Kılıçdaroğlu asks AKP MPs

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has asked ruling party lawmakers how they know he won’t run for presidency in the next elections during a speech in parliament, hinting his potential candidacy.

“Who told you whether or not I will be a candidate?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked lawmakers from the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) during tense budget talks in parliament late Dec 7.

Kılıçdaroğlu asked this question after a group of AKP lawmakers loudly called him on 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.

“Will you dare be a candidate?” one AKP lawmaker was heard shouting at him.

Kılıçdaroğlu did not reply directly, but instead said, “What do I want? I do not want a one-man regime.”

“I want the parliamentary system, a democratic and pro-people parliamentary system. I want a political understanding that gives an account of every [Turkish] Lira spent,” he stated.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP is part of the Nation Alliance together with the İYİ (Good) Party, the Felicity Party and the Democrat Party. Newly founded political parties, the Future Party and the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), are also expected to join the opposition alliance in the future.

The purpose of the Nation Alliance is to enter the next presidential and parliamentary elections together and agree on a presidential candidate. Kılıçdaroğlu has long been stressing that the opposition alliance should first agree on the principles rather than names.

Bahçeli: Kılıçdaroğlu declared his candidacy

The AKP’s main ally, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chair Devlet Bahçeli interpreted Kılıçdaroğlu’s words as a declaration of his candidacy for the next elections. “It was a statement with good news. It’s been understood that the candidate of the tainted alliance is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu,” he told reporters.

Likewise, senior AKP officials also interpreted Kılıçdaroğlu’s statements as an indication that he wants to run for presidency.