Turkey’s top opposition leader yet to propose presidential candidacy to allies

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who heads Turkey's main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has yet to request that he run as the opposition bloc’s candidate for president in elections slated for next year, said Ahmet Davutoğlu, leader of Turkey's Future Party (GP).

Kılıçdaroğlu has said publicly that he is ready to run against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the vote, which must be held by June next year, but Davutoğlu said the CHP leader had not made a request to the opposition group.

“Being forthright is one thing, being a presidential candidate is another,” Davutoğlu said in an interview on Fikir TV. “It was not talked about.”

Davutoğlu, a former prime minister in Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, said “everything will be discussed when the time comes.” He repeated a view, agreed upon in the opposition bloc, that Turkey’s presidential system of government, introduced in 2018, should be abolished if Erdoğan is defeated.

“We will save this nation together and we will not give such power to a single person,” he said. “An excessive use of power in the transition period would also bring disaster. Currently, there is a presidential decree, for example… as it was during the time when there was a prime minister, all members will sign, and six leaders will sign it.”

He said any failure by the opposition to agree on a candidate would increase Erdoğan’s chances at the polls, but he hoped that would not spell the end of their alliance.

“I agree that if a common candidate does not come out of the six-party table, this will benefit the government and perhaps harm the perception of the alliance in society,” Davutoğlu said. “But we have worked hard for this alliance and we will not break it up even if there is no joint candidate. I don't want it to fall apart.”

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