Published: Sun, May 06, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Turkey's ruling party nominates Erdoğan as presidential candidate

Turkey's ruling party nominates Erdoğan as presidential candidate

While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to win the June election, Turkey's opposition is moving to challenge the president's powerful position.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and MHP head Devlet Bahçeli went to the YSK early on May 4 to register Erdoğan as their joint candidate for the presidency, in the election that will take place on June 24.

The HDP nominated their former leader Selahattin Demirtas, who is now in jail on allegations of terrorist-related activity.

In his first interview with worldwide media since being nominated, Demirtaş, who has been in jail on security charges for a year and a half, told Reuters a fair election was impossible under the state of emergency imposed after the July 2016 coup attempt. "When we chose our candidate, we only thought about the future of our nation's prosperity and happiness", Yildirim said.

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The secularist CHP, which is the main opposition party, has never won an election against Erdogan in his decade and a half in power.

Erdoğan said the vote, originally scheduled for November 2019, was moved up to accelerate Turkey's change from a primarily parliament system to one giving the president more executive authority.

On Friday, presidential candidate from CHP, Muharrem Ince called for the release of the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) candidate Selahattin Demirtas from jail.

The government says the measures are necessary due to the security threats it faces.

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