Opposition name Ihsanoglu for Turkish presidential race

Photo: Opposition name Ihsanoglu for Turkish presidential race / Turkey

Turkish academic and diplomat Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has been nominated for the country's presidential race by the two main opposition parties, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) submitted his nomination to the parliament speaker Cemil Cicek on Sunday.

Born in Cairo to Turkish parents, Ihsanoglu, 71, retired last year from his post as the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) - the collective body which promotes the interests of 57 member states.

Under his leadership since his election in 2005, the organization became more involved in humanitarian, social and economic areas.

A total of 111 CHP MPs out of 134 supported his candidacy, while all MHP lawmakers signed his nominating petition.

The presidential elections, scheduled for 10 August, will be the first time Turkey's president has been elected by direct popular vote.

A candidate needs more than 50 percent of the popular vote to be elected in the first round.

If none of the three expected candidates receives the required percentage, a second round will take place on August 24 between the two candidates who received the most votes.

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