May 27, 2024

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Erdoğan’s main opponent in the next presidential election is Kemal Kilicadoglu

Erdoğan’s main opponent in the next presidential election is Kemal Kilicadoglu

ADEM ALTAN / AFP Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party CHP, speaks after he was confirmed to run as Turkey’s opposition joint candidate against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s presidential election in May, March 6, 2023, in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo by Adam Alton/AFP)

ADEM ALTAN / AFP

Turkey: Erdogan’s main opponent in the next presidential election is Kemal Kilicdaroglu (photo of Kemal Kilicdaroglu taken on March 6, 2023)

TURKEY – On Monday, March 6, a coalition of six Turkish opposition parties named Kemal Kilidaroglu, the head of its main body, to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in power for two decades, in the presidential election on May 14.

“Kemal Klisadaroglu is our presidential candidate”Felicity Party leader Demel Karamolaglu said before a crowd gathered in front of his party’s headquarters in Ankara where leaders of six parties met on Monday.

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The heads of five other organizations of the coalition, including Kemal Klisadaroglu, were at his side during the announcement.

“Returning to the people what was stolen”

Despite the February 6 earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people and devastated entire parts of the south and southeast of the country, Turkish presidential and legislative elections have been kept on schedule.

Kemal Klisateroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP, Social Democrat) since 2010, has promised to return to the democratic game if elected in May. “Let us all unite and uphold the power of morality and justice”After his appointment, Kemal Klisadaroglu announced before the crowd.

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“We, as a national coalition, will lead Turkey on the basis of consultation and reconciliation.”He promised. “Let’s give back to the people what was stolen from the people (…) I’m not the candidate, the candidate, all of us”He then appeared in front of his party’s headquarters, flanked by the popular CHP mayors of Istanbul and Ankara, Ekrem Imamoglu and Mansur Yavas, to cheers.

Back to the parliamentary system

A has been decided to implement “Complete Change”The opposition coalition wants to return Turkey to a parliamentary system, after the transition to a presidential system inherited by Erdogan, in which the head of state concentrates all executive power.

If Kemal Klisadaroglu is elected, the heads of the other five bodies of the alliance will be appointed as vice-chairmen.

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The agreement signed by the coalition’s six parties also includes a specific role for the popular CHP mayors of Istanbul and Ankara: they will be appointed vice presidents. “at such time as may be deemed fit” If Kemal Kilicdaroglu wins.

“Overthrow this government”

However, some opposition supporters criticize the outgoing head of state, Kemal Klisadaroglu, a 74-year-old former senior civil servant from the Alevi minority, as a candidate for his successor.

The coalition failed to make a splash on Friday in electing Kemal Klisadaroglu: Merel Aksener, head of the coalition’s second most important body, the Good Party (nationalist), strongly opposed his appointment before resuming his post. Monday Alliance Table.

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A promise to appoint the mayors of Istanbul and Ankara as future vice presidents played a key role in his return.

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A dangerous election for Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose popularity has been fueled by the economic crisis in Turkey, must respond to slow relief in the hours following the February 6 earthquake. Kemal Klisadaroglu did not fail to point out the flaws and condemned “incompetence” and corruption at the head of the country.

While apologizing for the delay in relief, the 69-year-old Turkish president has made reconstruction of the devastated areas his guiding principle. According to opinion polls, the May 14 presidential election promises to be his most dangerous since he came to power as prime minister in 2003.

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Erdogan and his party AKP (Islamo-conservative) have already seen the municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara flee in favor of the CHP, a severe setback. The pro-Kurdish left-wing HDP may now seek support for Kemal Kilicadoglu. This government should be removedTV channel Habertürk said its co-president Mithat Sancar on Monday evening.

The HDP, the third party in parliament, won 12% of the vote in the last legislative election. The party has so far been kept out of the alliance by the presence of the Pan Party, which is not compatible with the HDP. The opposition has less than ten weeks left to push its program and campaign across the country.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 devastated eleven of the 81 Turkish provinces, however, causing significant logistical problems, with 3.3 million people forced to evacuate the affected areas.

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