Turkey's Deputy PM backs Erdogan for president
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Sunday "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is definitely the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in regards to the presidential election", Anadolu Agency reported.
Arinc delivering a speech at an advisory council meeting in the northwestern province of Bursa touched on the upcoming presidential election, being held in August, and the possible candidate of the ruling party to run for the presidency.
Praising Erdogan for his successful 12 years in office, the deputy prime minister said, "We desire Erdogan, he deserves the presidential post after 12 years of effort."
However, he added that the final decision of who will run will depend on negotiation between Erdogan and the incumbent President, Abdullah Gul.
The deputy prime minister also claimed that whoever does become the candidate of the AK Party, that person will be the president.
Each party has its own candidates for presidency, said Arinc, but continued saying that the opposition parties will support the AK Party's candidate remarking "At least one-third of the Nationalist Movement Party's electorate and at least 20 percent of the main opposition Republican People's Party's electorate will vote for the AK Party's candidate."
Previously Arinc has said that Erdogan would easily win the elections as opposition party leaders did not have popular support.