Kılıçdaroğlu: No CHP presidential candidate yet

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 24.08.2017 23:10

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that the party does not have a palpable presidential candidate for the 2019 elections yet.

Responding to questions of whether he will be a candidate for the presidency during a live interview on the private NTV broadcaster yesterday, Kılıçdaroğlu said: "We have a lot of time until the presidential elections and, of course we, as the CHP, will determine a candidate but it's wrong to declare candidacy as of today."

The CHP leader stated that the presidential candidate should promise to form a new constitution that would "embrace the 80 million in Turkey," establish a new political parties act, abolish the 10 percent election threshold, provide the assembly with the full reflection of the national will, defend transparency in the state and accountability after being elected.

"We will nominate a person who has these qualities. We have lot of people who fulfill these requirements, both in and outside of the party. The nominee should be a person who is trusted by the people in addition to having these qualities. However, it is not an issue to be determined as of today - we still have time," he said.

After reiterating during the interview that "the presidential candidate may need some time to be recognized by the public," Kılıçdaroğlu stated that people "do not need to worry" because the candidate will be a well-known, respected and trusted person and will embrace all 80 million people in Turkey.

Also, when asked, "Will the return to the parliamentary system be one of the president's promises?" Kılıçdaroğlu confirmed that the issue will be on the president's agenda.

He also voiced criticism about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and accused him of having a biased stance.

A proposal to make changes to the 18 articles of the constitution, including the switch to a presidential system, was brought to a referendum on April 16. The referendum was approved with 51.4 percent of the vote.

On May 21, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) re-elected Erdoğan as its chairman, as the new constitutional changes allow the president to keep party ties and lead a party.

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