The Republican People's Party (CHP) is considering several options for its 2019 presidential candidate, party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.
Speaking in a televised interview late Wednesday, Kılıçdaroğlu said CHP's candidate would be chosen from among several figures it is considering at the moment.
"We have a short amount of time until the presidential elections. Our candidate should garner votes from outside our traditional voter base [and] provide confidence. We will discuss the candidates in the party assembly. They should be chosen from among those who are not burned out. We have more than one name in mind," he said.
Brushing off reports that former President Abdullah Gül could be CHP's candidate, Kılıçdaroğlu said the party has not talked with Gül or with former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Abdüllatif Şener.
Previously, four methods to elect a presidential candidate had surfaced within the CHP. Voter inquiry, pre-selection, candidate inquiry and intra-party inquiry reportedly stand out as the most favorable options.
CHP administration is reportedly against the idea of a presidential candidate not being selected by its party members, arguing that a candidate not chosen by CHP members would be unable to represent 51 percent of the public. Some circles in the CHP ponder if leaving the issue to the party's assembly could be a wiser move.
Commenting on the general elections in 2019 and the prospect of forging an electoral alliance, Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP is not against alliances and any party can make one. However, he said his party was against the election threshold.
"It's not very appropriate for me to suddenly stand up and say, ‘We will make an alliance.' First, the advantages and disadvantages of an alliance should be evaluated," he said.
Touching on the rumors in Ankara and the possibility of early elections, Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP is ready for snap elections if that is the case.
The CHP recently made changes in its bylaws to make way for alliances in 2019. CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan previously told media that there must be changes in terms of alliances, especially after the recent talks between the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). "Flexibility is needed in the bylaws that would allow broad alliances," Tezcan said.
The AK Party and the MHP are set to enter the 2019 general and presidential elections under the name of People's Alliance.