05 May, 2018
Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has officially nominated the country's current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for the June 24 presidential election, AKP said in a message May 3.
Erdogan has won almost a dozen elections and dominated Turkish politics since his Islamist-rooted AK party first swept to power in 2002.
Ince removed his CHP party pin and had it replaced with a Turkish flag, as he promised to be a candidate for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity or religion.
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.
The CHP is due to make an alliance with three other opposition parties - notably the new Iyi (Good) Party of Meral Aksener - for the elections.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag ridiculed the CHP's move, saying it was only "trying to win time" by making the mere announcement of a date sound like a strategy.
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"Some people may look for their presidential candidates by microscope, but we have already decided on our candidate".
The first to submit his candidacy was the maverick leader of the small leftist nationalist Patriotic Party, Dogu Perincek.
The HDP presented Demirtas as its candidate Friday in two separate rallies in Istanbul and the Kurdish majority city of Diyarbakir.
Meanwhile, opposition groups are expected to align before the June 24 election to challenge the dominance of Erdoğan's party.
After the vote, a new presidential system agreed in an April 2017 referendum will come into force.