CHP, HDP to announce presidential candidates on May 4

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) makes a speech during his party's group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, Turkey on April 24, 2018. Emin Sansar / Anadolu Agency

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will announce their candidates on Friday for the June 24 snap presidential election.

CHP spokesperson Bülent Tezcan on Tuesday said the party’s presidential candidate would be announced at 10:00 a.m. on Friday at Ahmet Taner Kışlalı Gym in Ankara.

Sezai Temelli, co-chairperson of the HDP, stated on Monday in Diyarbakır that the party would announce the name of its presidential candidate on May 4.

Temelli also underlined that former co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been held in Edirne Prison since November 2016, has emerged as the frontrunner among potential candidates.

The Felicity Party (SP) announced on Tuesday that the party’s chairman, Temel Karamollaoğlu, would be its presidential candidate in the election on June 24.

The İYİ Party recently named the party’s chairwoman, Meral Akşener, to represent it in the election.

A move by Karamollaoğlu to put forward former President Abdullah Gül failed last week.

Gül on Saturday said he would not challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the snap presidential election, underlining that his decision was due to a lack of consensus between opposition parties.

“I said I would not turn down the responsibility if a general consensus were reached. I appreciate Mr. Temel’s efforts. It seems there is not such a general demand after all. I will not be a candidate in the upcoming presidential election,” he said.

Turkish media reported that President Erdoğan on Thursday sent Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Erdoğan advisor İbrahim Kalın to talk to Gül in an effort to prevent his candidacy.

CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Sunday criticized Akar’s visit to Gül to talk about his possible run against Erdoğan, calling it “tutelage.”

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