Just a day after six parties of the Turkish opposition gathered to finalize their name for the joint presidential candidate, İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener has said that her party demands Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş for the role.
Akşener made the comments on March 3 following a meeting with her party’s executives. In clear remarks that she was against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s presidential bid, she said: “At the point where we have come to, İYİ Party has been forced to an imposition in a grabbing way, and forced to make a choice between death and malaria.”
Akşener said that she was supporting CHP mayors İmamoğlu and Yavaş as candidates amid polls that indicate they could perform better against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“We have agreed on several important issues. In the meeting that occurred yesterday, we have finally discussed who the joint presidential candidate would be. In that regard, the five parties voiced the candidacy of Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. And as İYİ Party, we have stated two names whom we have been witnessing our nation has been widely favoring and who are winning by a major difference (in polls) against Erdoğan. These two names were Mr. Yavaş and Mr. İmamoğlu,” Akşener said.
The İYİ Party leader said that their suggestions were turned down and the other leaders have come to an agreement.
Calling on Yavaş and İmamoğlu to still take on the role and nominate themselves, Akşener said: “You have been chosen by the nation’s will. You have done your duties in the best way possible. You have never let our nation under rubble for once. Our nation has seen your efforts and stood by you. And today, at a threshold of a critical breakup point, we call on you to the duty.”
Following Akşener's remarks, Kılıçaroğlu told journalists, "Do not worry, stones will fall into their places. We are continuing on our path."