İnce will not endorse any candidates in presidential runoff vote

Muharrem İnce’s Homeland Party has decided not to endorse either President Erdoğan or Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the second round of the presidential race which will be held on May 28.

Serkan Alan / Gazete Duvar

Homeland Party (MP) executives on May 25 decided not to support any presidential candidates in the run-off vote scheduled for May 28.

Party’s leader Muharrem İnce, who withdrew from the presidential elections three days before the first round, held a meeting with the Central Executive Board of his party.

Accordingly, many provincial chairs wanted to support the main opposition Nation Alliance’s candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. However, the party decided to continue with their neutral stance in the second round as well. It was learned that no official announcement will be made regarding the decision.

On the other hand, the party's Esenyurt district branch in Istanbul announced that they are endorsing Kılıçdaroğlu's candidacy.

İnce on May 11 withdrew from the presidential race, saying that “(the main opposition) will have no excuses when they lose the elections.” The politician’s move came following allegations that a sex tape leaked on the internet belonged to İnce.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan officially received 49.52% of the votes, whereas Kılıçdaroğlu received 44.88%, Sinan Oğan received 5.17%, and Muharrem İnce received 0.43% in the first round of presidential elections on May 14. 

After the election, Oğan decided to support President Erdoğan. However, the Victory Party under the leadership of Ümit Özdağ, whose candidate was Oğan, declared support for Kılıçdaroğlu after signing a protocol mainly on deporting Syrian refugees to their homeland.

The Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) continued their support for Kılıçdaroğlu in the second round as well despite the controversial protocol between Kılıçdaroğlu and Özdağ.

In the 2018 elections, İnce had run as the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate and received 30 percent of the votes.

After losing the 2018 presidential elections to Erdoğan, İnce's relationship with the CHP began to deteriorate. In 2021, he resigned from the party in order to found his "Homeland Movement." In the same year, he and several former CHP members formed the Homeland Party as an alternative "Kemalist" party.

(English version by Alperen Şen)