Two months before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, the alliance of the six opposition parties disintegrated. The leader of the nationalist Ii Party, Meral Aksener, said on Turkish television on Friday that the “Table of Six” can no longer “reflect the will of the people in its decisions.” The two sides were unable to agree on a common challenger to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Aksener said after a meeting with Iyi Party delegates that her party wants to choose a joint candidate based on the results of the universal ballot. However, the potential candidates proposed by them next, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas, were rejected by other parties.
Two mayors suggested
Instead, her party should have been forced to choose Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the largest opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which is favored by the other five parties in the alliance. “We will not acquiesce to that,” said the Iyi chief. She accused Kilicdaroglu of placing “personal ambitions” over the country’s interests. The two mayors, also affiliated with the CHP, asked them to run themselves.
According to expert Anthony Skinner, Aksner’s exit from the coalition is a “major blow” to the opposition’s election prospects. “I gave Erdogan a nice gift,” said Ferrisk Maplecroft, a political expert at a risk assessment firm.
Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 14 – three months after the devastating earthquake in the Turkish-Syrian border region that claimed more than 45,000 lives in Turkey alone. Erdogan aspires to another term. The opposition accuses him of not preparing the country adequately for earthquakes.
The opposition coalition was originally supposed to announce its joint candidate next Monday. According to Turkish media, the CHP has now called an extraordinary meeting of its Central Executive Council after Aksner’s remarks. (apa, afp)
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