Turkish opposition hints at joint candidate to rival Erdogan

Kilicdaroglu's CHP stands on the center-left of the Turkish political spectrum whereas Devlet Bahceli's MHP is a firmly pro-Turkish nationalist party. The two parties have traditionally been rivals, especially during the 1970s when leftist-rightist clashes in Turkey was at its peak.

Turkish opposition hints at joint candidate to rival Erdogan

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has proposed to the third biggest party in the country, the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) that they name a joint presidential candidate to challenge Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's likely candidacy.

Speaking to Turkey's daily Hurriyet on Friday, Kilicdaroglu said “[MHP leader Devlet] Bahceli will propose a name to us. Why should we oppose it if the person [nominated] is also suitable for us? The same is valid for the name that we would propose as well. We will discuss in a better way after these names have been decided.”

“The president should be a nationalist and someone loyal to secularism and the rule of law. These are not qualifications that we can reject,” he said, describing his criteria for a possible joint candidate.

Kilicdaroglu's CHP stands on the center-left of the Turkish political spectrum whereas Devlet Bahceli's MHP is a firmly pro-Turkish nationalist party. The two parties have traditionally been rivals, especially during the 1970s when leftist-rightist clashes in Turkey was at its peak.

However, with Recep Tayyip Erdogan standing as a strong rival to them both, there has been talk of a possible alliance between CHP and MHP in a bid to put forward a credible opposition force to stand against him.

Erdogan, who enjoys the support of the largely conservative middle-class, has led the country's Justice and Development Party to several election victories since coming to power in 2003 - tipping the halfway mark and leaving his closest rivals CHP a long way behind.

As Erdogan's popularity grows, so does the drive of those who oppose his rule. Last year's Gezi Park riots saw many opposition groups with a wide range of political ideologies come together to protest against his government.

At the same time, this wide range of ideology has up until now made it difficult for various opposition groups to unite. CHP and MHP moving closer to each other will most likely distance Turkey's fourth biggest party - the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) - which has been successful in mainly Kurdish south-eastern provinces.

Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2014, 12:49
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