The main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate for the 2019 elections should be “someone who can receive public support from diverse political backgrounds,” said CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, adding that he had not held any meetings with former President Abdullah Gül on this issue.
“The candidate we nominate should be a candidate who will also be accepted by the rest of the electorate. The presidential candidate should give trust to society,” Kılıçdaroğlu said late on March 21 in a televised interview with Turkish broadcaster CNN Turk.
The presidential elections scheduled for November 2019 will leave a mark in the history of Turkish politics, since the changes stipulated by the constitutional amendment will come into effect afterwards.
The new constitution requires 50 percent of the votes in the first round of elections in order for the president to be elected. If none of the candidates receive that amount of votes, the two candidates with the most votes will compete in a second round of votes, where the candidate with the most votes will be elected as president.
“The candidate we nominate should be one whom other parties will say ‘we will vote for them’ if the elections are taken to a second round,” he said.
“There is a considerable amount of time until the presidential elections,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, in response to the question of whether the CHP has a candidate in mind.
“We have more than one candidate in mind,” he said, adding that the Party Assembly would be the authority in determining that candidate.
He also dismissed rumors that the main opposition is considering the candidacy of former President Abdullah Gül and Eskişehir Metropolitan Mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen.
Kılıçdaroğlu said they had not held any talks with Gül or Büyükerşen.
Since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have formed an alliance for the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, Kılıçdaroğlu was asked whether the CHP would also seek any alliances.
He said the CHP would assess the conditions for making such a decision. “It is something to be discussed with other parties,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
“The AKP-MHP alliance is a mandatory alliance. One [party] is in it to win the presidency, the other [party] is in it to pass the 10 percent electoral threshold. It is not a sincere alliance,” he said.
“What principles are they working on? They do not have any principles. If we form an alliance, we will determine principles. We have to set forth how we are going to rule the country after we form an alliance,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.