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Turkey’s opposition close to naming Kilicdaroglu to challenge Erdogan

Turkey’s six-party opposition inches closer to naming main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu as the common candidate, but the right-wing Iyi Party is still hesitant.
Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu (L), IYI Party Meral Aksener (2ndR), Felicity Party (Saadet) Temel Karamollaoglu (R), Democratic Party (DP) Gultekin Uysal (3rdL), Future Party (Gelecek) Ahmet Davutoglu (3rdR), and Democracy and Progress (DEVA) Party Ali Babacan (2ndL), belonging to the Turkish opposition alliance called National Alliance, pose on stage before presenting their programme, in Ankara, on January 30, 2023. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey’s six-party opposition alliance declared Thursday that it had “reached a common understanding” on a candidate to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s crucial presidential elections in May, but it delayed an official announcement on who he is until next week.

The candidate is likely to be main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who is upheld by the five parties in the opposition platform. The stumbling block appears to be right-wing Iyi Party, the second-largest party in the coalition, which is not entirely persuaded that Kilicdaroglu is the right man to defeat Erdogan. Meral Aksener, the leader of Iyi, was in a meeting with her party members as of this writing.

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