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Turkey's main opposition: Ihsanoglu is consensual nominee

Thu 19, June 2014 Kategori Politics
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is not just the presidential nominee from Turkey's main opposition, but rather a consensual nominee, CHP, Turkey's main opposition party said on Wednesday.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Monday named Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as their joint nominee for August’s presidential elections.

Some deputies both inside CHP and in other parties voiced their reaction over CHP's decision, but CHP's deputy chairman and party spokesperson, Haluk Koc, said that it is not possible to choose a candidate who pleases everyone.

"I respect all criticism, however, the nominee is clear and certain, there will not be another one," Koc added.

Ihsanoglu needs the support of 20 MPs for his candidacy before he can officially stand for the election scheduled for August 10.

The 71-year-old retired from the OIC last year after being elected in 2005. Under his leadership the organization became more involved in humanitarian, social and economic issues.

The vote will be the first time that Turkey's president is elected by direct popular vote.

A candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote to be elected in the first round. If none of the three expected candidates receives the required percentage, there will be a second round vote on August 24 between the two candidates who received the most votes.

Meanwhile, Koc criticized the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party over the kidnappings of Turkish nationals in Iraq, saying that the party does not pay enough attention to such events.

Militants linked with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) abducted 49 people from the Turkish consulate in Mosul last week on Wednesday, one day after seizing 31 Turkish lorry drivers.

Koc said in reference to Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that "he even cannot say 'terrorist organization' for ISIL" and asked "Are they not terrorists?"

ISIL, which already controls parts of Syria, has extended its reach into Iraq since June 10, when it seized Iraq's second-largest city Mosul and soon afterwards took near-complete control of the northern city of Tikrit.

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