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Erdoğan’s AKP nominates him as presidential candidate

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The parliamentary group of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has nominated the party’s leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as their candidate for the May 14 presidential election.

AKP parliamentary group chairman İsmet Yılmaz said lawmakers in attendance at a group meeting unanimously decided to nominate Erdoğan. He said the party will file an official application with the Supreme Election Board (YSK) next

The parliamentary group of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an election ally of the AKP, also nominated Erdoğan as their presidential candidate following a meeting on Thursday.

The AKP and the MHP brokered an alliance prior to the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections, known as the “Public Alliance.” The alliance has been expanded over time to include some smaller parties.

According to an election calendar announced by the YSK, political parties will as of March 19 be able to submit their applications to the YSK for their presidential candidates. The application process will end on March 31, when the campaign period for the presidential candidates will begin.

Turkey will also hold parliamentary elections on May 14, when candidates will run for a five-year term in the legislature.

The list of presidential candidates will be published on the Official Gazette on March 31. The candidates will be able to campaign until the eve of the election.

Erdoğan is facing the toughest election in his 20-year rule, with opinion surveys showing him falling behind Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the joint presidential candidate of an opposition alliance of six parties.

He is being held responsible for the country’s worst economic crisis of his time in power and a poor response to twin earthquakes that killed tens of thousands and left millions homeless in the country’s south last month.

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