Former President Gül’s name never came up in our debates: CHP official

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The name of former President Abdullah Gül has never occurred in the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) debates for identifying a presidential candidate, CHP Parliamentary Group Chair Özgür Özel wrote in a social media post on April 25.

“Enough. We are fed up with all the speculations,” Özel tweeted.

“The only objective here is to create debates and lower morale in the CHP. The CHP has never had Abdullah Gül’s name on the table. It doesn’t have it now and it won’t have it in the future,” the post read.

Meanwhile, Felicity Party (SP) head Temel Karamollaoğlu is due on April 25 to meet Gül, whose possible candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections has been at the center of attention in Ankara, as negotiation works between opposition parties accelerated.

As one of the founding leaders of the AKP, Gül served within AKP governments as a minister and prime minister before becoming Turkey’s 11th president between 2007 and 2014. Gül’s last years in office as president saw significant disagreements with Erdoğan, who was serving as a prime minister in consecutive AKP governments at the time.

Gül is believed to have some backing from conservative and moderate political groups but he has not yet given any signal for his potential nomination.

İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener firmly stated on April 24 that she will be the candidate from her party, reiterating that the İYİ Party favors every party presenting its own candidate in the first round of the snap presidential election due on June 24.

A number of lawmakers within the CHP have also voiced opposition to Gül being nominated as a joint candidate.

CHP Yalova deputy Muharrem İnce told daily Habertürk columnist Nagehan Alçı on April 25 that he would not support Gül if he runs for president.

“He served as president for seven years and he did not veto any law. He only did things their [AKP] way. Is that right? If I had to choose between [Erdoğan and Gül] I would choose Erdoğan,” İnce said.

Parliament on April 20 approved a joint proposal of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to hold snap elections on June 24, 2018, a year-and-a-half before the originally scheduled date.

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