Former Erdogan rival announces candidacy for Turkish elections

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing more competition as Muharrem Ince, who already ran against Erdogan once in 2018, announced his candidacy for the presidency on Monday.

The official candidate list for the parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14 is to be be published at the end of the month.

Ince was defeated by Erdogan in 2018 while running as a candidate for the opposition centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP). Now he is running as the candidate of the much smaller Homeland Party.

The elections are seen as a key test for Erdogan, who has been in power for 20 years.

According to opinion polls, his re-election is anything but certain.

Earlier, an alliance of six parties put up opposition leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, 74, as a joint candidate to try to topple Erdogan.

Kiliçdaroglu on Monday solicited the support of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – currently the second-strongest opposition party in parliament.

Polls put Ince well behind Erdogan and Kiliçdaroglu.

Ince’s candidacy gave rise to discussion about whether he was not splintering the opposition and thus acting contrary to his declared goal – namely to get Erdogan out of office.

Erdogan, with his conservative Islamic governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), has so far entered the race with the support of the ultra-nationalist MHP, the religious BBP and the Islamist Hüda-Par party. Erdogan’s courting of the latter in particular had caused much outrage in Turkey.

Source: Ghana News Agency