Opposition picks grassroots veteran Muharrem Ince to stand against President Erdogan

Posted May 05, 2018

The MHP and the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party have forged an alliance for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

Although Iyi Party leader and former interior minister Meral Aksener has registered to run against Erdogan to be the next president of Turkey, the CHP has yet to name its candidate. Mr Ince, 54, says he is running on a pro-democracy, pro-freedom ticket but the main focus of his campaigning is likely to be his fierce opposition to Mr Erdogan's divisive Islamist agenda.

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It will give people the chance to restructure debts and even penalties like traffic fines, and - most eye catchingly - give all pensioners a 1,000 lira ($245) payment before the two biggest religious holidays of the year.

A formal announcement by the CHP on its candidate is expected on Friday morning.

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The 24 June polls, which will see parliamentary and presidential elections held on the same day, will be a landmark in modern Turkish history. She will be the first woman candidate to compete against Erdogan.

After the vote, a new presidential system agreed in an April 2017 referendum will come into force.

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Ince said Erdogan's new presidential palace, which opened in 2014 to sneers from the opposition, should be handed over to the youth and made a "home for science". On May 2 it is expected that Saadet (Happiness) party will officially apply to the Supreme Election Council to nominate its leader Temel Karamollaoglu's candidacy.