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4 candidates to run in Turkey’s presidential vote: election authority

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Four candidates have qualified to run in Turkey’s presidential election to be held on May 14, according to a preliminary list announced by the country’s election authority, the Supreme Election Board (YSK), on Monday.

YSK Chairman Ahmet Yener announced on Monday evening following the closing of the window for presidential candidates to collect at least 100,000 signatures to be eligible for candidacy, that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is seeking re-election, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Homeland Party leader Muharrem İnce and Sinan Oğan, the candidate of a bloc of four far-right parties, are the four candidates who have qualified to run in the presidential election.

The temporary list of presidential candidates was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday. The YSK will accept objections to the list until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The YSK will announce the final list of presidential candidates on March 31 after possible objections are resolved.

İnce and Oğan had to collect at least 100,000 signatures from their supporters since they were not nominated by a political party that garnered at least 5 percent of the nationwide vote in the last elections.

The YSK accepted applications from 11 prospective candidates last week who are required to be nominated directly by voters. Only İnce and Oğan were able to collect 100,000 signatures each, while the other prospective candidates such as Homeland Party (VP) Doğu Perinçek and Ahmet Özal, son of the late president Turgut Özal, failed.

Erdoğan is the candidate of the Public Alliance, which includes his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and several other small opposition parties, while Kılıçdaroğlu is the candidate of an opposition bloc of six parties including his CHP, the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, the conservative Felicity Party (SP) and three other parties.

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