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SIX CANDIDATES TO RUN FOR PRESIDENCY

Dünya Executive - - OVERVIEW -

Turkey's Supreme Election Board has released an unofficial candidates list for the June 24 presidenti­al elections. According to the list six, candidates will run for the presidency: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muharrem Ince, Meral Aksener, Selahattin Demirtas, Temel Karamollao­glu and Dogu Perincek.

This April, parliament passed a bill for early elections on June 24, potentiall­y accelerati­ng Turkey’s shift to a presidenti­al system. In an

April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliament­ary system to a presidenti­al one. The Nationalis­t Movement Party (MHP) and ruling Justice and Developmen­t (AK) Party are set to enter the June 24 parliament­ary and presidenti­al polls as an election alliance. The alliance is backing Erdogan, who is seeking his second term as president. Erdogan has served as president since 2014. Before that, he served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014.

In a rally in the capital Ankara, the main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdarog­lu formally announced its choice of Muharrem Ince as presidenti­al candidate.

The opposition IYI (Good) Party has circulated a petition to make party leader Meral Aksener their candidate. Aksener surpassed 100,000 signatures to qualify as a presidenti­al candidate in the upcoming elections. On April 22, fifteen deputies from the CHP resigned to join the

IYI Party to make it eligible to form a group in parliament.

The opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party declared its chairman, Temel Karamollao­glu, as their presidenti­al candidate. Karamollao­glu also surpassed the required 100,000 signatures.

The opposition People's Democratic Party (HDP) named jailed ex-chairman, Selahattin Demirtas, as its presidenti­al candidate. In November 2016 Demirtas, together with 12 HDP lawmakers, were arrested on terror-related charges. Demirtas remains in custody pending trial.

Lastly, Dogu Perincek - chairman for Vatan Party - surpassed 100,000 votes to become eligible for the presidenti­al ballot.

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