Nationalist opposition prefers mayors of Ankara, Istanbul as presidential candidate
As the clocks tick ahead of a presidential election in Turkey due in June, the six opposition parties which formed the Nation Alliance are yet to identify a joint candidate who will challenge President Tayyip Erdogan.
Many analysts say the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu will put himself forward as a candidate, but Good Party leader Meral Aksener on Friday said her favorites were otherwise.
“I have already said in a meeting with the leaders of the Nation Alliance, that we will not say this to one of our two friends,” she said in an interview with Turkey’s Haberturk TV, referring to Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu.
The pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party,) which has a critical electoral support of 10% already made clear they will not support Yavas, who has a history of nationalistic affiliations.
Aksener also denied reports saying the Good Party secretly negotiated with Yavas to nominate him as candidate.
“Our last meeting with Yavas was when he brought an invitation to our party for a program before the Eid al-Adha. We sat down, he formally gave the invitation and left. Apart from that, we did not meet on the phone or in a private place. Both Yavas and Imamoglu have the love and respect of both the CHP, the Good Party and other parties of the opposition bloc,” she said.