After 15 years in power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will face his greatest political challenge to date. Following a controversial referendum last year, Turkey will elect an executive president for the first time. While the transition to a presidential republic had not been set to take pl
‘Uncertainty surrounding CHP candidate resembles Macron’ - journalist
Muharrem İnce, the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) presidential candidate for the upcoming elections on June 24, to some extent resembles French president Emmanuel Macron as an outsider who stands beyond the party system, Turkish liberal journalist Ali Bayramoğlu told the New Europe on Thursday.
Bayramoğlu thinks that İnce has the potential to win 30 percent of the votes in the first round of the presidential election. If İnce succeeds in that, he will likely run against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the second round on July 8.
According to Bayramoğlu, people are uncertain about what İnce represents or what he would do if he were to win the election. “It is a bit like how Emmanuel Macron was criticised by French intellectuals and the press for being an outsider being beyond the party system. A vote for Muharrem Ince is a vote against Erdogan, but it is also an expression of an apolitical system,” he said.
Bayramoğlu was a supporter of Erdoğan up until two years ago and was a columnist in pro-government Yeni Şafak daily. He said that Erdoğan had represented a synthesis in politics and pursued policies that could unite different strands of the society; the religious people, Kurds, and the elite. “I’m one of those who supported Erdogan but now objects to him for his authoritarianism,” he told to the New Europe.
In Bayramoğlu’s view, opposition parties managed to come together and nominate strong candidates, after Erdoğan called for snap elections in April and they are willing to break the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) domination over Turkish politics. AKP and its ally the National Movement Party (MHP) are likely to lose their majority in the parliament according to Bayramoğlu, yet he thinks that Erdoğan may win the presidential election.
He added that, though there was life and new energy in the opposition, from his perspective, they were not ready to govern.