Turkey: Opposition leader does not signal consent for partner's candidacy
Meral Aksener, the leader of the nationalist Good Party that is part of the opposition People's Alliance in Turkey, said in a live broadcast on Tuesday evening that the six-party opposition bloc will eventually decide on a joint candidate to run in the coming presidential elections, and that the bloc will not function simply as a notary public.
"The conditions in 2018 when the People's Alliance was formed are different from the current conditions in which the six-party bloc has been formed," Aksener said.
"Kemal Kilicdaroglu [leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP)] had said, 'This bloc will decide on the presidential candidate.' Mr. Kilicdaroglu is the one who has tasked the bloc with this mission and bound himself. The bloc does not have the duties of a notary public. Mr. Kilicdaroglu has defined which qualities a presidential candidate should have, and I have always agreed with him. I'm also saying something else: It should be a candidate who will win the election."
Aksener also commented on Kilicdaroglu's recent remarks in his recent address in Izmir, when he asked CHP officals to clarify their support in his favor.
"There have been varying interpretations on Mr. Kilicdaroglu's remarks in Izmir. His message was addressed to his own party. We preferrred to interpret his remarks as addressed to his own party. It would not be nice to address them to the six-party bloc. Mr. Kilicdaroglu is a very kind and gentle person. The bloc is not a notary public. Mr. Kilicdaroglu may declare his candidacy, there is no problem wth that. The others [in the bloc] may declare theirs as well. Other candidates may be proposed. We will discuss and decide. The person who has suggested this method, who has wanted to have it and bound himself by it is Mr. Kilicdaroglu himself."
She added that they would not object if Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, both CHP figures, came forward as candidates for the presidential elections.
Aksener also reiterated that they would never sit in the same table with the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
"There is a group of people who say that HDP should be in the opposition bloc; a group who try to tame us. If they think the Good Party is an obstacle to this system and if the other parties in the opposition bloc agree with them, we will leave the bloc so that they can sit with the HDP."