ANKARA: Turkiye’s bickering opposition leaders ended months of fierce debate on Monday and agreed to name the head of the main secular party as their joint candidate against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May 14 polls.
A last-ditch deal aimed at averting a split of the opposition vote will see CHP chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu name the other five opposition leaders as vice presidents should he end Erdogan’s two-decade rule.
“We would have been eliminated had we split up,” Kilicdaroglu told huge crowds of cheering supporters after emerging from hours of tense talks.
Kilicdaroglu, 74, head of the country’s second-biggest party, aims to emerge from Erdogan’s shadow and oust the president after a two-decade reign that has transformed the Nato member country and major emerging market economy. “Our table is the table of peace. Our only goal is to take the country to days of prosperity, peace and joy,” said Kilicdaroglu.
Polls suggest that the presidential and parliamentary votes in two months will be tight, with the opposition bloc running slightly ahead of the governing alliance.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2023