Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), speaks after being confirmed as the Turkish opposition candidate, between Meral Aksener (left) and Temel Karamollaoglu (right), in Ankara on March 6, 2023 REPUBLICAN PEOPLE’S PARTY (CHP) VIA AFP
By donning the habit of the opposition candidate for the Turkish presidential election, Monday March 6, after months of negotiations, confabulations and even psychodramas in recent days, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu was able to experience several ranges of sensations, among which the pleasure discreet of a clear revenge.
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Attacked and criticized from all sides by the muse of the nationalist right Meral Aksener, yet an integral member of the opposition coalition he has been able to carry at arm’s length for a year, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) , the formation created by Atatürk, founder of the Republic, has succeeded in bringing together six movements around his name, a tour de force of which few politicians can boast.
In a last-minute reversal of which Turkish political life has the secret, a compromise was therefore found, Monday, in Ankara, between the restless president of the Good Party and the five other formations of this coalition called the People’s Alliance, also called the “Table of Six”. Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, president of the main opposition party to the Justice and Development Party (AKP), will therefore be in the running, on May 14, against the indestructible president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in power for twenty years.
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“Our table is that of peace and fraternity. Our overriding goal is to bring Turkey to prosperous, peaceful and joyful days. As a National Alliance, we will govern Turkey through consultation and consensus,” promised the candidate, specifying that the presidents of the other parties in the coalition would serve as vice-presidents during the transition period. “We will give back to the people what was stolen from the people (…). I am not the candidate, the candidate is all of us, ”he then launched in front of the headquarters of his movement, to cheers, surrounded by Ekrem Imamoglu and Mansur Yavas, the two popular mayors respectively. from Istanbul and Ankara.
“Mobilize as many voters as possible”
Meral Aksener, she finally returned to the negotiating table after having created the surprise, Friday, sharply opposing the candidacy of Kemal Kiliçdaroglu. “This alliance no longer allows concerted discussion of potential candidates: it has turned into a notary’s office which works for the approval of a single candidate,” she denounced. The declaration, quickly interpreted as a sabotage of the “Table of Six”, had caused consternation within the opposition, which was already struggling to present an image of unity and did not stop pushing back the date of the announcement. of the name of its common candidate. Several members of his party, caught off guard and disappointed, chose to throw in the towel.
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