'Secular' CHP leader meets Islamist party chief amid alliance talks

They aim to find a candidate who could be supported by right-wing, Islamist segments in the second round to compete against Erdoğan
Monday, 23 April 2018 17:51

The leader of the main parliamentary opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held a meeting with Islamist Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu on Monday to discuss possible coordination during the upcoming snap presidential and parliamentary elections, with the decisions on alliances and candidates expected to be announced later this week.

Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan set snap presidential and parliamentary elections for June, bringing them forward by more than a year.

They aim to find a candidate who could be supported by right-wing, Islamist segments in the second round to compete against Erdoğan.

Following Monday's talks, Karamollaoğlu pledged to declare the party’s presidential candidate at the weekend, declining to comment on whether the opposition was considering nominating former President Abdullah Gül. However, last week Karamollaoğlu said that his party wanted to hold a meeting with Gül, if the "opportunity" rises.

The Felicity Party was founded in 2001 after the Virtue Party (FP) was banned by the Constitutional Court. Ruling AKP party the Felicity Party and originated in the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi).

Karamollaoğlu also welcomed the CHP decision to support the fascist İyi (Good) Party, by transferring its 15 lawmakers. 15 CHP lawmakers quit their party on April 22 and joined fascist İyi Party in a bid to secure the latter’s participation in the upcoming snap polls. Parties with 20 or more deputies are recognised as groups in parliament and then automatically have the right to run candidates.

CHP leader, in his turn, reportedly said that his party goal was to "defend democracy" and noted the crucial role of the upcoming elections for the country’s future. 

The Turkish Supreme Board of Elections is due to announce the electoral schedule later in the week, with political parties obliged to determine alliances and candidates within a week following the announcement.

The CHP will also convene a party assembly on April 24, in which party officials are expected to determine their final strategy and candidate.