CHP leader hesitates to declare his bid on presidency


Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said he may apply for candidacy in the 2019 presidential elections though he seemed reluctant to declare his intention on a television program.

Speaking Thursday on Habertürk TV, the CHP leader said "I may be, we will discuss it in the party," while answering a question as to whether he has the intention to run as candidate for the presidency.

Kılıçdaroğlu has been often criticized for not propelling himself to the fore and often remains in the background in critical elections. He did not enter the presidential elections in 2014. Instead, the CHP nominated Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, former head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). İhsanoğlu entered the election as the joint candidate and was also supported by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Democrat Party (DP), the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Great Union Party (BBP), the Independent Turkey Party (BTP) and several other minor parties, but garnered 38.4 percent of the vote, coming in second after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

His poor performance in elections and referendums since taking office in the CHP in 2010 after Chairman Deniz Baykal resigned over a sex tape scandal also draws ire among party supporters. Kılıçdaroğlu has lost the national vote eight times in elections and referendums so far.

The CHP leader thanked Meral Akşener, leader of the İYİ Party (Good Party), for her statement that "they can support the CHP's candidate if it achieves to qualify for the second round." He also did not rule out the possibility of early elections.

Kılıçdaroğlu previously said his party aims to get 60 percent of the vote. "Presidential elections are not party elections. It will distinguish those in favor of democracy from those who are not," he said.

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