Political party leaders should not run in presidential elections because the position requires political impartiality, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on April 29.
Speaking at a local media gathering in the Marmaris district of Muğla province, Kılıçdaroğlu once again said he would not be running in the upcoming snap presidential election on June 24, recalling that a president will have to swear an oath for “impartially” at parliament to take the seat.
“If a president is [linked to a party], how can they approach a problem sincerely and impartially? The president must be impartial,” he said.
The CHP has yet to announce its candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, which will take place a year-and-a-half ahead of schedule.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said the 15 CHP lawmakers who joined the İYİ (Good) Party on April 22 in a bid to help secure the latter’s participation in the upcoming early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 will return to the CHP after the election.
“They will perform their duties and return after a certain time. They will be able to take a place in our deputy candidate lists [in the future],” he added.
According to Turkish law, a political party has to finalize its organization process in more than half of the provinces across the country, while holding its first congress six months before the election date. The İYİ Party held its first congress with the establishment committee last December but finalized its provincial congresses on Feb. 26. It had been debated whether the Supreme Election Board (YSK) would take this date into account, so the CHP moved to transfer a sufficient number of lawmakers to allow the İYİ Party to form a group at parliament and thus participate in the upcoming election.
CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu also said his party’s priority is a “political alliance that will abolish the election threshold,” referring to Turkey’s high 10 percent election threshold on entering parliament.
“We are considering an important step. Our friends are working on the issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, at a gathering in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on April 28, Kılıçdaroğlu questioned the CHP’s 81 provincial heads about their nominees for the presidential elections, with the provincial heads conveying their sealed proposals at the meeting.