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Neo-nationalist leader announces support for Erdoğan in presidential runoff

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Doğu Perinçek, the founder and chairman of the neo-nationalist Homeland Party (VP), has announced that his party will throw its weight behind President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming presidential runoff, local media reported on Wednesday.

Turkey will hold a runoff on May 28 since initial results showed Erdoğan failing to secure a win against his secular rival, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, in the May 14 election.

According to unofficial results in the May 14 presidential election, Erdoğan received 49.51 percent of the vote, while Kılıçdaroğlu, the candidate of the Nation Alliance, an opposition bloc of six political parties, garnered 44.88 percent.

Perinçek announced his decision to support Erdoğan in the runoff during his party’s Central Decision Committee (MKK) meeting on Wednesday.

Arguing that the VP had determined its political stance in the runoff based on “independence against imperialism and a revolution in production,” Perinçek accused Kılıçdaroğlu of “collaborating with terrorists,” according to Turkish media reports.

The VP leader had previously failed to collect at least 100,000 signatures required to be eligible for candidacy in Turkey’s presidential election.

Perinçek also said his request to join the Public Alliance was rejected by Erdoğan, the presidential candidate of the bloc.

The Public Alliance is formed by Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), its far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Islamist New Welfare Party (YRP) and the nationalist Grand Unity Party (BBP).

The VP received the support of over 53,000 people in the May 14 parliamentary election, which corresponds to 0.1 percent of the vote.

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