With the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) announcement of Yalova Deputy Muharrem İnce as its presidential candidate on Friday, the number of presidential contenders has reached six for upcoming elections scheduled for June 24. While three of them made their application via their party's parliamentary groups, the other three candidates have to collect 100,000 signatures in order to become a candidate in the elections. The candidates will try to garner more than 50 percent of the total votes to be get elected in the first round. If none of the candidates succeed in this, two candidates, who would get highest votes in the first round, will compete in second round. As less than two months are left for the elections, candidates, who are coming from different political factions, will explain their projects and mission during their presidential campaigns. So far, following candidates declared their intention to compete in the June 24 elections;
Far-right Good Party
candidate Meral Akşener
The far-right Good Party (İP) chairwoman announced that she will run for president soon after the call for snap elections by the ruling party, despite calls by the other opposition parties to unite around a joint candidate. Meral Akşener was born in 1956, in Kocaeli province of Turkey. Her interest in politics started at a very early age since she was a member of the Grey Wolves, a group that constitutes the youth branch of the MHP, which is why she is still known as Asena (a female wolf) by her followers.
However, she was elected as a parliamentarian for the first time in 1995 from the True Path Party (DYP) and after that served as the interior minister. In 2001, she joined the MHP and became the vice-speaker of the Parliament.
In 2016, she led the inter-party opposition movement against the party leader Devlet Bahçeli and eventually expelled from the MHP. In 2017, she formed the far-right Good Party and became the party's presidential candidate for the June 24 elections.
Conservative Felicity Party candidate
party Chairman Temel KaramollaoğluAfter the failed attempts to united around a joint candidate, the conservative Felicity Party (SP) has announced the party Chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu as their candidate. The SP's leader had attempted to bring together other parties and convince former President Abdullah Gül to be their joint candidate for the upcoming elections. Karamollaoğlu was born in 1941, in southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş. He first joined the Parliament as a National Salvation Party deputy in 1977.
After 1980 military coup, he took a break from politics until 1987. In 1989, he was elected as the mayor of Sivas province from the Welfare Party. In 1995, he became a parliamentarian once again, this time from the Welfare Party.
Following the closure of the party, he joined the Virtue Party. In 1999, he once again elected as Sivas deputy. In 2000, he joined the Felicity Party and became the chairman of the party in 2016.
Neo-nationalist Patriotic Party
candidate Doğu Perİnçek
The Patriotic Party leader Doğu Perinçek said he will run for president by collecting the necessary 100,000 signatures. A neo-nationalist figure, Perinçek was born in 1942, in southeastern Gaziantep province of Turkey. In 1971, he founded the Revolutionary Workers' and Peasants' Party of Turkey with his friends. He took a break from the politics after the military coup which took place in 1980. In 1990, he founded the Socialist Party, which later turned to the Workers' Party. He served as the leader of the party since 1992 till 2015. In 2015, the party took a new name and became the Patriotic Party (Vatan Party), which has left-wing nationalist tendencies and Perinçek is still the chairman of the party.
Pro-PKK HDP's candidate former
Co-chair Selahattİn Demİrtaş
The Pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has announced that the former Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who is now in prison, will run for president as their candidate. Demirtaş was born in 1973, in eastern Elazığ province of Turkey. He was first elected as a deputy from the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) in 2007.
When the party was closed down in 2009, he transferred to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). In 2014, he became the co-chairman of the left-wing People's Democratic Party (HDP) which was formed with the inclusion of several political movements including the BDP and known for its link to the PKK terrorist organization.
Demirtaş served his duty as the co-chairman until 2018. He became the presidential candidate of the party in 2014 and came in the third place. In 2016, he was imprisoned for insulting "the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish nation, the Turkish state and state institutions."
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