AK Party official announces Erdoğan as presidential candidate


Demirtas's People's Democratic Party (HDP) commands only about 10-12 percent support, but he is still likely to draw significant backing in a first round presidential vote against President Tayyip Erdogan and other candidates. The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the Good Party (İP), the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) agreed early Wednesday to form the alliance.

All positions in the 600-seat Turkish Parliament will be contested in next month's vote.

Spokesperson Bulent Tezcan did not confirm during Tuesday's announcement if there was a consensus within the CHP on a candidate, saying only "we are at an important point".

Separately, Meral Aksener, the head of the IYI Party, applied to the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) on Wednesday to seek the presidency. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.

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He wrote on Twitter that the party executive was "completely incapable and incompetent" and said Kilicdaroglu's unwillingness to run himself had made him a "political fugitive".

Turkey has been in a prolonged state of emergency for nearly two years.

The first to submit his candidacy was the maverick leader of the small leftist nationalist Patriotic Party, Dogu Perincek.

Turkey will also hold parliamentary election on June 24. After the elections the country will transition from the parliamentary system to the presidential one.

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Meanwhile, the AK Party broke a record in Turkey's political history with the number of applications for candidacy, which reached 7,329; 1,332 applicants are women, 498 applicants are disabled and 468 are young people aged 18-25.

Following the People's Alliance, opposition parties also have agreed to establish an alliance.

Its leader is former interior minister, former member of the Nationalist Movement party Meral Aksener who is expected to be Erdogan's main opponent in the presidential election.

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