Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Muharrem İnce

Elections in Turkey: pressure grows against İnce to withdraw his candidacy

Muharrem İnce, one of the 4 candidates running in the presidential elections that Turkey is holding on May 14, is facing increasing pressure to withdraw his candidacy. İnce, who was already a candidate for the CHP party in the 2018 presidential elections, and who assures that the polls give him 16% of votes, is now presenting himself with his own party, and a few days ago he received a visit from the CHP leader and candidate opposition party Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu: a meeting after which İnce refused to discuss the idea of withdrawing his candidacy.

This despite the strong pressure – and even insults on social media – that İnce receives from those who accuse him of breaking the unity of the opposition and subtracting votes from Kılıçdaroğlu. The fact is that surveys and sociologists agree that the irruption of İnce with his new party can make a dent in an opposition that runs under a coalition of 6 parties – with the common idea of ending the rule of Erdoğan and his presidential system – but that is very far from united.

The İYİ Parti, the 2nd most important in the coalition, has deep disagreements with many coalition policies and even came to oppose Kılıçdaroğlu’s candidacy: internal tensions that could explode at any moment, and that a few days ago led to the resignation of a senior İYİ deputy over negotiations between Kılıçdaroğlu and the Kurdish nationalists of the HDP, a party that faces possible closure due to its ties to the PKK terrorist group. In short, many voters who do not like Erdoğan but who distrust the opposition led by Kılıçdaroğlu, could end up voting for İnce.