Parties ready to declare presidential candidates

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Ahead of the tight electoral schedule for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, which will be held on June 24, political parties are ready to declare and register their presidential candidates.

Political parties and individual candidates have begun to submit their applications to the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) as official applications for the presidential elections began on May 1.

The candidates that will run for presidency with 100,000 signatures are obliged to apply by May 2, while political parties have to present their candidate by May 5.

The tight schedule has put parties in action, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the joint candidate of Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), is expected to make his official application on May 4.

The party will convene its party group on May 3 and the party is trying to present him as the candidate with all the lawmakers’ votes.

CHP to announce nominee on May 4

The main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) candidate has not yet been announced. The CHP’s spokesperson Bülent Tezcan said on May 1 they will declare their candidate on May 4 with a special organization, which will be held in Ankara.

Tezcan said the candidate “will be the right candidate.”

As the parties are also obliged to issue their pre-election alliance protocol by May 6, Tezcan said opposition parties “are in a positive stage” in alliance negotiations.

“Democratic powers will show they are able to act together in the polls,” he said.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has also not yet announced its candidate. However, imprisoned former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş is stated as “the front-running potential candidate,” HDP co-leader Sezai Temelli said on April 30.

“We have a pool of names. We have received suggestions for the presidential candidate. Talks carried out within and outside the party suggest that Demirtaş has emerged as the potential front-running candidate,” he said.

Presidential candidates who need to gather 100,000 signatures to run for presidency have a tight schedule, as they have only two days to apply to the YSK.

Since the applications began on May 1, the first application came from Motherland Party (VP) leader Doğu Perinçek.

İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener will also apply to the YSK on May 2 to be a presidential candidate with 100,000 signatures.

Even though the İYİ Party’s group in parliament allows her to be a presidential candidate without signatures, in Akşener’s statement last week, she said she does not want to “instrumentalize 15 CHP lawmakers” who have resigned from their party to join the İYİ Party to ensure their participation in elections.

After speculations over former president Abdullah Gül’s candidacy finalized, the Felicity (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu declared his candidacy on May 1.

He is also expected to make his application to the YSK on May 2.

Citizens who would like to give a signature for candidates will go to provincial election boards between May 4 and May 9. Citizens can only give one signature for one candidate.

The ultimate candidacy list will be declared in the Official Gazette on May 13, and the official election campaign period will begin afterwards. The list will not change in the event that a candidate withdraws or dies.

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