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Journalist claims Babacan will be opposition’s presidential candidate

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A journalist from Habertürk TV has claimed that former Justice and Development Party (AKP) heavyweight Ali Babacan will run as the joint presidential candidate of the opposition parties against AKP leader and president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish media outlets reported.

The TV station’s Ankara representative, Bülent Aydemir, claimed during a program on Habertürk that former deputy prime minister and economy minister Babacan will be nominated as the presidential candidate of the opposition parties including the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the İYİ (Good) Party because these parties have no other option than to make an election alliance. Aydemir said his claim is based on information he received from the opposition parties.

Turkey will hold a presidential election in 2023.

According to Aydemir, it would be like committing suicide for the CHP if the party nominates former President Abdullah Gül as a rival to Erdoğan because CHP voters would not vote for Gül.

Babacan resigned from the AKP on July 8 and issued a written statement on Aug. 8 in which he spoke about having started preparations for the establishment of a new party.

The AKP is uneasy with Babacan’s plans to establish a rival political party, and Erdoğan has accused Babacan of abandoning the Islamist cause.

In a recent interview, the former deputy prime minister said the new party would be established by the end of 2019.

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