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Turkey Opposition Names Combative MP as Erdogan Challenger
05 May 2018, 01:31 | Rufus Hill
Turkish police officers arrest a protester attempting to defy a ban and march on Taksim Square to celebrate May Day in Istanbul on Tuesday. — AFP
In a bid to challenge Erdogan and his alliance, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is set to announce a four-party alliance of its own with the newest Iyi (Good) Party and smaller Democrat and Saadet (Felicity) Parties.
One of the most spirited speakers from the opposition, Ince has generally been more ready than Kilicdaroglu to adopt a gloves-off approach towards Erdogan, raising the prospect of a fierce political campaign.
He wrote on Twitter that the party executive was "completely incapable and incompetent" and said Kilicdaroglu's unwillingness to run himself had made him a "political fugitive".
Registration for presidential candidates opened on Tuesday and they have until Saturday to give their names to the Central Election Commission (YSK).
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced the party's choice of Erdogan - also the AK Party chairman - at a parliamentary group meeting.
"I will be everyone's president, a non-partisan president", Ince told thousands of flag-waving supporters at a rally in Ankara, adding that "the depressing times will end on June 24".
After the vote, a new presidential system agreed in an April 2017 referendum will come into force.
Erdogan has served as president since 2014 - Turkey's first popularly elected president. This has lead to speculation the CHP could pull its candidate in the second round of voting and back Aksener.
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