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Turkey’s opposition bloc to announce presidential candidate on Feb. 13

opposition bloc Turkey

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has announced that a bloc of six opposition parties will announce their presidential candidate for the May 14 presidential election on Feb. 13, Turkish media reported.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in remarks during a Sunday program on Halk TV that the presidential candidate will also reveal the opposition bloc’s roadmap for the general election.

Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, one month before the scheduled date in June.

The incumbent president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced months ago that he would seek reelection as the presidential candidate of the Public Alliance, comprising his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

When asked if he is the presidential candidate of the opposition bloc, which also includes the right-wing İYİ Party and four smaller parties, Kılıçdaroğlu said it’s normal for every party to expect to see their leader as the president but that the important thing for the  opposition bloc is to make a joint decision about its candidate.

Among the potential candidates in addition to Kılıçdaroğlu are İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, both from the CHP.

Those two mayors ended the years-long AKP rule in their cities in the local elections of 2019, and opinion surveys show them enjoying significant support among voters as possible presidential candidates.

Surveys show diminishing support for Erdoğan amid Turkey’s economic and social woes.

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