Oppositional parties may cooperate in the upcoming presidential elections by agreeing on nominating a single candidate that would embrace all segments of the society and would represent Turkey abroad, the leader of the main opposition has said Hurriyet Daily News reported.
"[The cooperation of opposition parties] could be highly possible in the upcoming presidential elections. It has two rounds. It will eventually lead to cooperation in the second round if 51 percent cannot be reached by another candidate. We have some people in our minds, but there is no reason to declare them now," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) told the Wall Street Journal Turkey in an interview Apr. 2.
When asked whether the opposition parties could agree in nominating one candidate, Kilicdaroglu said they should first agree on the identity of such a figure beforehand. "We may cooperate in the first leg of elections if we can agree on a well-educated, bi-partisan person who has no strong identical bonds with a political party but can embrace all segments of the society with the ability to speak foreign languages, so they know the balance in the world and in Turkey," he added.
Turkey will elect its next president in August 10 through its first popular elections. In case none of the contenders receive a 50 percent majority in the first round, the two candidates who get the most votes in the first leg will run for the second round on August 24. Senior Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials stress Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the ruling party's natural candidate for presidency, especially after receiving 45 percent of the votes in the local polls.
Election results have opened the way for Erdogan to ally for presidency with Kurdish political groups, which have at least seven percent of votes. But Kilicdaroglu dismissed such a possibility, arguing that the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) would not vote for someone who was allegedly involved in corruption. "From time to time, we also criticize the BDP, but I believe the BDP is sensitive when it comes to corruption-related issues," he said. Kilicdaroglu added public conscious will not accept Erdogan's presidency, so that the prime minister will not be able to attain his goal.
Self-criticism on Kurdish policies
Upon questions on the very poor performance of the CHP in some Kurdish-majority constituencies, Kilicdaroglu admitted they failed in generating enough confidence for the Kurds.
"We have developed a very good language concerning this region," he said, adding, "We made it clear that the solution is not under the AKP's monopoly and that the CHP will exert extraordinary efforts for the solution of this question. We repeatedly told them that we would increase the 10 percent national election threshold. But we were non-existent in Diyarbakir and Hakkari. We had votes in Kars, Ardahan, Elazig, Adiyaman, which are not that bad."