The five remaining leaders of Türkiye’s opposition alliance recommitted to its founding principles on Saturday, after the leader of the Good (IYI) Party announced her withdrew from the coalition due to the dispute on choosing the rightful candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
“The coalition is determined to continue its work in the same direction, in line with its founding principles and objectives,” the five leaders said in a statement after a five-hour meeting.
The public split on Friday came after months of rift in the opposition alliance, and analysts considered it a blow to the opposition’s hopes of ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Meral Aksener, the leader of the center-right Nationalist Good Party, the second largest party in the opposition coalition, announced on Friday that the party would withdraw from the bloc.
She said that during a meeting to select the presidential candidate last week, the other five parties in the coalition proposed to push Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), as their presidential candidate.
Aksener accused the members of the coalition of putting pressure on her party and defying the will of the Turkish people, adding that she proposed nominating the mayor of the capital, Ankara, Mansur Yavas or, the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, who are both from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), to run again Erdogan.
The CHP has the largest voting base in the Turkish opposition coalition.
Kilicdaroglu said that there was no room in the alliance for political games and indicated that more parties might join the bloc.
The government TRT news channel quoted the Turkish president as saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and its nationalist ally are sticking to their path after the opposition alliance split.
Opposition leaders said they would announce their joint candidate against Erdogan on March 6.
Erdogan’s popularity declined, even before the earthquake last month, which claimed more than 45,000 lives, amid the cost of living crisis.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a key player in the bid to defeat Erdogan on May 14, called on the opposition to unite around democracy, justice and freedom.