Ex-CHP leader Baykal U-turns over choice of presidential candidate
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAMay 12, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
May 12, 2017 12:00 am
As intra-party disputes continue to plague the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), former party chairman and current Antalya deputy Deniz Baykal has also continued making controversial remarks in direct contradiction with remarks the deputy made previously.
Emphasizing that Turkey has entered a new era since the April 16 referendum, Baykal asserted last week in a televised interview that Turkey's former President Abdullah Gül would have a good chance of winning if he decided to run for election.
Baykal later retracted his remarks regarding the former Turkish president, indicating that he did not suggest Gül as a candidate for the 2019 presidential elections. Speaking during a televised interview with Habertürk channel late Wednesday night, Baykal said: "I did not say, ‘Yes he is appropriate candidate, I see him as a candidate and he must be candidate.' To the contrary, I only laid out a model."
Baykal's remarks came after former President Gül dispelled rumors that he would return to politics and run in the 2019 presidential election. Gül said on Friday, "I served as an impartial president for seven years and after my term ended, I underlined many times that I will not be part of daily politics." Commenting on Baykal's initial remarks which indicated that Gül would have a good chance of winning if he were to run in the 2019 election, the former president said that he did not take Baykal's remarks seriously, noting: "In recent days, one politician referred to me [as a candidate for the upcoming presidential election]. This [Baykal's] statement was in line with internal party disputes. However, I never take such statements seriously."
As the CHP's Baykal failed to get the "green light" from former President Gül, he retracted his remarks and denied his initial statements, claiming instead that "He [Gül] is not my candidate and it is clear that I have no desire for such a candidate. I am not a person who constantly changes his position. …He was never my presidential candidate and I will not have such suggestion made in this regard. I am not in a position to declare my own candidate; I am only explaining a model."