İYİ Party MP says they are 'cautious' about Kılıçdaroğlu’s possible candidacy

Opposition İYİ Party lawmaker Yavuz Ağıralioğlu has said that they have some concerns about main opposition CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu’s possible presidential candidacy.

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Right-wing opposition Good (İYİ) Party lawmaker and its former deputy chair Yavuz Ağıralioğlu on Nov. 13 said that they have some concerns about main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s possible presidential candidacy.

When asked “Are you worried that Kılıçdaroğlu will not win if he is a candidate?,” Ağıralioğlu told broadcaster TV100 “We are worried.”

“He may win, but the conventional AKP-MHP voters are reluctant to vote for him. Our conventional right conservatives, does not even stand at the left row when praying in the mosque. We cannot ignore this reflex,” he said, implying that the ruling AKP-MHP voters may not vote for Kılıçdaroğlu because of his leftist ideology.

The elections are scheduled to be held in June 2023. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already announced his candidacy for the presidency. While some CHP figures claimed that Kılıçdaroğlu will be their candidate, there is no official announcement yet.

Some experts say that CHP’s Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu should run for presidency because Kılıçdaroğlu may not attract enough conservative voters from the ruling alliance. They also think that Erdoğan's election campaign may beat Kılıçdaroğlu's because of the former's rhetoric. There are also some polls suggesting that İmamoğlu and CHP's Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş are in front of Kılıçdaroğlu against Erdoğan in a possible electoral competition.

İmamoğlu is one of the figures targeted frequently by Erdoğan and the ruling AKP ever since his decisive victory in the Istanbul elections in 2019. Turkey's High Election Board (YSK) did not recognize İmamoğlu's initial victory in the 2019 local elections and ordered a repeat vote which he won again with a much bigger difference against AKP’s candidate Binali Yıldırım. 

Turkey currently has three alliances. The ruling alliance consists of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The main opposition alliance includes the Republican People’s Party (CHP), İYİ (Good) Party, Felicity (Saadet) Party, Democrat Party, DEVA (Democracy and Progress) Party, and Future (Gelecek) Party.

Lately, a new leftist alliance was formed, namely Labor and Freedom Alliance, including Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Workers’ Party (TİP), Labor Party (EMEP), Social Freedom Party (TÖP), Labor Movement Party (EHP), Socialist Assemblies Federation (SMF).