Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has announced Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as its candidate for the upcoming August presidential elections during a lavish presentation event in Ankara with the attendance of former and current lawmakers, mayors, central executive board members, congress delegates and provincial heads, The presentation event was held at the Ankara Trade Chambers’ (ATO) Convention Center, which has a capacity for 4,000 people.
AKP Deputy Head Mehmet Ali Şahin announced that Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan would run as the AKP candidate in the presidential elections. Then the video presentation was screened focusing on Erdoğan, containing images from various campaign rallies.
The two main opposition parties in Parliament, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), agreed to nominate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, a former head of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as a joint candidate in a rather unexpected move. People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş also announced his candidacy June 30, becoming the second contender in the presidential race.
It is the first time that Turks will vote directly for their president. Parliament chose presidents in the past. The two-round elections are set for Aug. 10 and 24.