The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 3 formally nominated party founder and leader President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as its candidate for Turkey’s early presidential elections scheduled for June 24.
All 316 members of the AKP’s parliamentary group voted in favor of nominating Erdoğan as its presidential candidate. Erdoğan will be supported in the snap vote by the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
“Some people may look for their presidential candidates by microscope. But we have already decided on our candidate. Our candidate is the man of the people. We are therefore announcing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the protector of the oppressed, as our candidate,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said after the AKP group agreed on the candidate.
“June 24 is a historic day of judgment for Turkey. We will bring down all the dirty plans against Turkey. We still have a lot to do. We have so many big projects for the future of our country,” Yıldırım said.
“Our geographic location and our history place a duty on Turkey. We have always sided with the oppressed and the sufferer,” he added.
Yıldırım also noted that this would be the last AKP group meeting he would chair as the last prime minister of Turkey, with the country due to transition to an executive presidential system after a controversial referendum marred by voting irregularities in April 2017.
“You stood against treacherous gangs. You defended Turkey. Turkey has been able to reach these days by escaping turbulence. I thank you all on behalf of our people and as the last prime minister of Turkey,” he said.
The AKP will make the official application for Erdoğan’s nomination to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) on May 4.