Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnceresponded to inner-party debates and said he would not step up against CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for the leadership, adding that he would continue his mission to be “the president of 81 million people.”
“I will not run against [Kılıçdaroğlu] and be his competitor. I will not commit such disloyalty to a person who has presented me as a presidential candidate,” İnce said on July 1, as inner-party debates were a center of attention within the CHP following the June 24 election results.
Turkey’s main opposition party received 22 percent of the votes and their presidential candidate gathered 30 percent of the votes in the latest elections, which has raised criticism against the current administration, leading to some members and supporters to ask for the resignation of the CHP leader.
Since İnce had presented himself as a candidate for leadership against Kılıçdaroğlu in two previous congresses, it was rumored he would push for an extraordinary congress and transform his energetic presidential campaign into a leadership post in the CHP.
İnce and Kılıçdaroğlu have responded to claims over the tension between the two, in which İnce said on June 27 he would not ask for a congress.
“İnce is an asset for the CHP,” said Kılıçdaroğlu on the same day.
I will not ask for a congress. I will never have such a demand. However, if the CHPorganizations were to invite me to such post and he [Kılıçdaroğlu] says ‘I will resign,’ then I am ready,” said İnce, reiterating his position on July 1.
He said he appreciated that Kılıçdaroğlu had presented him as a presidential candidate.
“It is not something everyone can do,” said İnce.
İnce said he would continue his mission to be “the president of 81 million people.”
“I do not want a seat in the party, I want to rule Turkey,” he said.
“I do not think this election will last five years,” said İnce.
Refuting claims that he would form a new political party, he reiterated his earlier promise to visit all 81 cities in Turkey.
“I am thinking about how we can manage to turn those 15 million votes into 30 million votes,” he said.
İnce said there were mistakes made during the campaigning period but he would stick to his motto of becoming “everyone’s president.”
“I will continue the slogan of ‘I am everyone’s president.’ You will see that I will be successful. I will not leave it here, I stand behind my promise. As long as my health permits, I will be a presidential candidate again,” he said.