"No point focusing on Erdogan's controversial candidacy"
The leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said there is no point filing an objection against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan running for a third term in the coming presidential election, because the Supreme Election Council (YSK) is composed of members appointed by Erdogan.
Erdogan has been elected twice, in 2014 and 2018, and will be running for a third term in May, despite article 101 of the Turkish Constitution which says that a person cannot be elected as president more than twice.
Erdogan and government officials including the Justice Minister argue that Erdogan's first election had taken place before the transition to the presidential system in 2018, therefore it does not count in the context of the limitation in the constitution, and that Erdogan will actually be running for a second term in the new system. However, there is no clause in the constitution stating that the limitation concerns only the elections after the transition.
In a recent meeting with a group of students in Turkey's western city of Izmit, Kilicdaroglu was asked why he remains silent in the face of the unconstitutional move by Erdogan.
"Let's say we haven't remained silent and filed an objection. Where will it go? To the Supreme Election Council. Who appoints the members of the council? Erdogan himself. Who will refute his decision? There is no institution with which one can file an objection. And even the Constitutional Court does not have the authority to review [YSK] decisions. Let me remind you that it was decided [by YSK] after the previous local election in Istanbul that three out of the four ballots inside the envelope were appropriate while one was not. They did this on instructions. So, we do not have any plan to focus on the controversial candidacy of Erdogan."
Despite his absolute distrust with the YSK, which will serve as the ultimate authority in the course of the elections, Kilicdaroglu stated that their only objective is to win the elections.
"Whether or not Erdogan runs in the coming elections, our objective is to maintain ballot box security, win the elections, and bring Turkey back to the axis of democracy."