Serkan Alan / DUVAR
The opposition Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) Central Executive Committee (MYK) convened a meeting on whether to nominate a presidential candidate.
The meeting came after right-wing Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener on March 3 publicly rejected main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's presidential candidacy and signaled to leave the Nation Alliance.
The question of whether the HDP will field its own candidate for the presidential elections or how it will proceed has yet to be answered. The party previously said they would nominate their own candidate if the main opposition Nation Alliance will not consult them.
HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar was asked how they will approach CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's candidacy. Sancar said, "Our spokespersons have repeatedly explained which path we will follow on this issue. We will follow the developments. We will evaluate with our board and the alliance and release an announcement later."
In response to the question, "Will the candidate of the Alliance of Labor and Freedom be announced?" Sancar said, "We had announced before the earthquake how we would proceed with the presidential candidacy. The crisis caused by the earthquake led us to re-evaluate this process."
Moreover, HDP deputy co-chair Tayip Temel stated that the parties of the Labor and Freedom Alliance will hold a meeting this week and said "We hope that everything will be in place next week. We have not finalized the candidacy debate. Whether we will stay with or without a candidate was left to the alliance meeting."
The leftist Labor and Freedom Alliance includes Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Workers’ Party (TİP), Labor Party (EMEP), Social Freedom Party (TÖP), Labor Movement Party (EHP), Socialist Assemblies Federation (SMF).
On the other hand, jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş on March 4 emphasized unity and democracy after Akşener's move.
"Don't worry, leaders only have one vote, just like you. Walk on the path you believe in, let the leaders follow you," Demirtaş said.
Merak etmeyin, liderlerin de sadece bir oyu var, aynen sizin gibi.— Selahattin Demirtaş (@hdpdemirtas) March 4, 2023
Mühür sizin elinizde. Güzel yarınlar sizin elinizde.
Siz halksınız. İnandığınız yolda yürüyün, liderler sizin arkanızdan gelsin.
On the other hand, Workers’ Party (TİP) on March 3 released a statement and said "Our people will maintain their will and determination against the Palace (government), will succeed in confronting the AKP-MHP alliance with a single and joint candidate by agreeing on principles, thus ending 20 years of darkness."
Bu karanlığa son vereceğiz! pic.twitter.com/GJGWflZMI6— Türkiye İşçi Partisi (@tipgenelmerkez) March 3, 2023
On March 3, İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener stated that they do not align with the Nation Alliance regarding the presidential candidacy of Kılıçdaroğlu and called on CHP's Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Mansur Yavaş to run. After both names announced their support for Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the political atmosphere was stirred up.
(English version by Can Bodrumlu)