Poll winners will become our candidates in local elections, Turkey's main opposition leader says
Ezgi BAŞARAN ISTANBUL – Radikal
“If a presumptive nominee is extraordinarily ahead of the others in the polls then she or he is our candidate. That’s it,” said Kılıçdaroğlu at an interview with the daily Radikal Oct 28. AA photoThe main opposition leader Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said the presumptive nominees suspected to lead the polls will be the party’s candidates during the municipal elections, rejecting any other options of selection.
“If a presumptive nominee is extraordinarily ahead of the others in the polls then she or he is our candidate. That’s it,” said Kılıçdaroğlu at an interview with the daily Radikal Oct. 28. Kılıçdaroğlu has ruled out any other option for selecting candidates in the upcoming municipal elections.
“These are the instructions I give: We will set off with the candidate who will get the most votes. A separate study is being done for each presumptive nominee. Sometimes polls, sometimes trend surveys… the results come to the MYK and the candidate is determined. The debates such as ‘should it be A or B,’ ‘This is my relative’ are invalid for me,” he said.
He also said the party’s method to determine the presumptive nominees has changed as well. “We have launched a five-member-commission. They are working on the election regions one by one,” Kılıçdaroğlu added. Inner debates over the candidates will not affect the result if he and the five-people-commission are persuaded that one candidate is suitable for the post, he said.
“We have to leave the older problems behind. These conflicts are luxury for us. We have had a rupture with our old conflicting culture, but still have a long way to go,” said the main opposition leader, adding they have determined 300 candidates with pre-election in the party.
Kılıçdaroğlu said the people want to “break the chain of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rule,” which, “is seen in many other institutions such as governorates, district administrations, police departments, public servants, unions, judiciary and universities,” this is why winning the Istanbul Greater Municipality is taken seriously by many.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came over the weekend, after he has exchanged positive statements with Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül over his possible membership into the party.
Sarıgül has responded positively to Kılıçdaroğlu’s invitation into his group, the Turkey Movement for Change (TDH), to join the CHP before the upcoming local elections.
“Dear Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s call will be addressed at the top level,” Sarıgül said on Sept. 27.
Kılıçdaroğlu invited the TDH and all of its members to unite with the CHP on Oct. 26. “We don’t have the luxury of being separated,” he had said.
Considered by many as the only politician who can successfully defeat the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Istanbul mayoral elections, the progressive Sarıgül has long been seen as a potential CHP candidate in the polls.
Popular among the locals, and mayor of one of Istanbul’s busiest districts, Şişli, Sarıgül previously said he was expecting a formal invitation from his former party, without disclosing his intentions on whether to run for the Istanbul mayoralty.