Turkey's main opposition leader says ready to face Erdoğan in election

Turkey’s main opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Monday announced his willingness to run as a presidential in the elections slated for 2023 should the alliance of which his Republican People’s Party (CHP) is a part of agree on his candidacy.

The CHP leader said he was “preared” to run as a candidate should the “Table of Six” agree on his name, Diken news site reported, citing an interview on Fox television.

Kılıçdaroğlu was referring to the opposition camp, dubbed the “Nation’s Alliance,” comprised of six parties, including the CHP, the centre-right Good Party (İYİP), the Future Party (GP), the Democrat Party (DP) and the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and the Islamist Felicity Party (SP).

The parties in February signed a manifesto to abolish the executive presidential system and restore rule of law under a “strengthened parliamentary system” but have yet to announce a presidential candidate for the elections scheduled for June of next year.

“We are six different leaders and we want democracy, rights and freedoms,” the CHP leader told Fox TV. “The six leaders have signed off on all of the edicts we have published to date… we can hold a joint meeting as six leaders, or hold them separately.”

“I am ready. And it is obvious how the state should be run,” the CHP leader added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in June formally announced his candidacy for re-election to a third consecutive term in a move that sought to push the Nation Alliance to declare its presidential candidate swiftly, giving the Turkish leader the ability to focus attacks on a single rival.

The Turkish President has dominated Turkish politics for almost two decades and in 2018 gained sweeping powers with the ushering in of the presidential system, which sees that the president is elected for a five-year-term in the country.

Some other names that have emerged as possible CHP candidates for the presidential election include Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and his Ankara counterpart Mansur Yavaş.

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