Six candidates approved to contest Turkey’s presidential election

Six candidates approved to contest Turkey’s presidential election
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Ankara: Turkey’s Supreme Election Board has released a list of unofficial candidates for the June 24 presidential election.
It comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 18 called parliamentary and presidential elections for June 24, more than a year ahead of schedule, to switch to a powerful executive presidency approved in a referendum last year.
According to the list – which can be challenged until May 11 – six candidates will run for the presidency in Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muharrem Ince, Meral Aksener, Selahattin Demirtas, Temel Karamollaoglu and Dogu Perincek.
The first round of voting will be held on June 24. If no candidate has obtained more than 50 percent of the vote, the second round of voting will be held on July 8. The Turkish Supreme Election Commission will announce the final result on July 12.
‘People’s Alliance’
Erdogan who is seeking his second term as president is the joint candidate of what’s called the People’s Alliance – made up of the governing AK Party (Justice and Development Party), the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) and BBP (Great Unity Party).
Erdogan told a crowd in Istanbul on Friday that he had always promised to be a “different president” who would not shirk responsibility. He has been on the road for months shoring up support with multiple daily speeches.
Erdogan has served as president since 2014 – Turkey’s first popularly elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.
Should he win the June election, Erdogan would be Turkey’s first leader under the presidential system, doing away with the prime minister’s post, among other changes.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) leader Devlet Bahceli at the Presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey, April 18, 2018.
remains the most influential candidate, while Muharrem Ince, candidate of Turkey’s main opposition CHP (Republican People’s Party), as well as Iyi (Good) Party leader and presidential candidate Meral Aksener pose the biggest challenge to Erdogan’s re-election.