Mayors reject Aksener's call to run for president

Mayors reject Aksener's call to run for president
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Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas rejected Aksener's proposal to run for president and pledged their support to CHP Chair Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Mayors in Turkey's two largest cities late Friday rejected a call by nationalist opposition leader Meral Aksener to run for president after she split a six-party alliance, refusing to back the candidacy of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

The mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavas, and the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, said they stood by Kilicdaroglu but wanted the alliance to reconvene.

"As a biological child of the CHP and mayor of the National Alliance, I have no doubt that the bloc will continue to grow with Mr. Kilicdaroglu representing us at the Alliance table in the unity our nation desires," Imamoglu wrote on Twitter.

“For his part, Yavas said he had already stated that he would not act in defiance of the authority of Kilicdaroglu.

In the statements we have made so far, we said that we would not act against Kemal Kilicdaroglu's will. We are in the same line,” he said.

The leader of Turkey's nationalist opposition The Good Party, Meral Aksener, quit the National Alliance bloc on Friday because of disagreement over who should run as a presidential candidate, 72 days before the election.

Aksener said her party, the second-largest in the alliance, would not bow to pressure to accept CHP leader Kilicdaroglu and instead proposed the mayors of Istanbul and Ankara as candidates, both of whom belong to the CHP, as opinion polls showed they would win by large margins against Erdogan.