Turkey’s two largest opposition parties to announce presidential candidates Friday

Turkey’s two largest opposition parties to announce presidential candidates Friday

Turkey’s two largest opposition parties will today announce their candidates for the historic June 24 presidential election. The vote will

HDP turkey

Photo: Reuters/Umit Bektas

Turkey’s two largest opposition parties will today announce their candidates for the historic June 24 presidential election. The vote will usher in the powerful executive presidency approved in last April’s referendum—a new chapter in Turkish politics.

While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to win the June election, Turkey’s opposition is moving to challenge the president’s powerful position. Mr Erdogan, who’s ruled Turkey since 2003, will face a four-party alliance consisting of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, the recently founded Iyi Party, as well as the Felicity and Democrat parties

Notably absent from the alliance is Turkey’s third largest party, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, which will also announce its presidential candidate today. Despite having been in jail since November 2016, former leader Selahattin Demirtas is expected to head this campaign.

The upcoming campaign promises to be an unusual one. Having been brought forward 17 months by Mr Erdogan, campaigning will be interrupted by Ramadan. The 10 days between the end of the religious month and election day will see furious, vitriolic campaigning as all sides bid to secure Turkey’s most powerful presidency ever.

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