Turkish opposition may prodoce alternative candidate

Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Suheyl Batum may emerge as a challenger to both expected favorite Prime Minister Revep Tayyip Erdogan and the joint candidate of Turkey's two main opposition parties Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in the August presidential elections.

Turkish opposition may prodoce alternative candidate

World Bulletin / News Desk

As the Turkish opposition remains divided over the choice of former Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as a presidential candidate to challenge expected favorite Prime Minister Revep Tayyip Erdogan, there is speculation that a second candidate may emerge from the opposition.

Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Suheyl Batum suggested on live TV that he may put his name forward for the presidential race in August after he, as many other CHP lawmakers, rejected Ihsanoglu's nomination.

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and National Movement Party (MHP) started collecting signatures to support their joint presidential candidate, but so far, 15 CHP lawmakers have openly refused to sign their names, as well as former CHP leader Deniz Baykal.

CHP, traditionally a center-left party which prides itself on the secular teachings of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, has seen hesitation within its own ranks to back Ihsanoglu, who many consider to be an Islamist.

There are also some reservations in the right-wing MHP about backing a joint with former rival CHP.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Erdogan, a founder of the ruling AK Party, is expected to announce his candidacy on July 1 and polls suggest he will win outright on Aug. 10 when Turks directly elect their president for the first time.

According to SONAR research institution, which is known as pro-Republican People's Party (CHP), if Erdogan is announced as the AK Party candidate, he would defeat Ihsanoglu and take the presidential seat in the first round of the election, which requires the majority of votes.

Among 2,800 surveyed people who live in 26 different cities, 46 percent say that they will vote for Erdogan if he competes against Ihsanoglu. Around 35.3 percent is seen to vote for Ihsanoglu, 6.2 percent of the surveyed people stated that they will vote for the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) candidate Selahattin Demirtas, and votes who remain undecided will be split among candidates which will increase Erdogan's votes to 52.6 percent while Ihsanoglu will receive 40.3 percent.

Speaking to Turkish daily Aydinlik, head of SONAR, Hakan Bayrakci stated that Erdogan may win the presidential election in the first round of votes, if not, he is sure to win the second round. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Haziran 2014, 17:17