The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has officially nominated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as their presidential candidate for the upcoming elections on June 24.
"Our candidate is the man of our nation. With the alliance, we announce Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as our presidential candidate," Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in Parliament, referring to the People's Alliance that the AK Party formed with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which also endorsed Erdoğan.
Erdoğan has served as president since 2014. He is Turkey's first popularly elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.
Should he win the June elections, Erdoğan would be Turkey's first leader under the new presidential system, doing away with the prime minister's post, among other changes.
The AK Party and the MHP previously decided to form a political alliance, the People's Alliance, for the presidential elections after MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli announced that his party will not name a candidate for the 2019 presidential elections and will support the re-election of President Erdoğan.
On Thursday, the Great Unity Party (BBP) announced that they had also joined the alliance alongside the AK Party and the MHP.
Following the People's Alliance, opposition parties also have agreed to establish an alliance. The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the Good Party (İP), the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) agreed early Wednesday to form the alliance.
The opposition alliance's official statement should be released over the weekend. The name of the alliance will be determined by party leaders.
Meanwhile, the AK Party broke a record in Turkey's political history with the number of applications for candidacy, which reached 7,329; 1,332 applicants are women, 498 applicants are disabled and 468 are young people aged 18-25.
In the November 2015 elections, the number of applications was 3,702, and in the June 2015 elections, the number was 6,239. There have been 943 applications for the MHP, while the CHP only has 550 applicants for candidacy.
22 deputies of AK Party did not apply to be a candidate one more time during the upcoming elections, including important figures within the party, some of whom were former ministers and parliament speakers, such as Ali Babacan, Beşir Atalay, Cemil Çiçek, İsmail Kahraman and Mehmet Ali Şahin. Former prime minister and chairman Ahmet Davutoğlu previous announced that he will not run in the elections.
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