İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener will be the party’s presidential candidate in the upcoming presidential election to be held on June 24, according to a statement from the party on Monday.
“Esteemed Meral Akşener will be a presidential candidate in any case. Our nation expects this from us in a clear and obvious way,” said the party’s statement.
The İYİ Party was established on Oct. 25, 2017 by Akşener and a group of politicians who parted ways with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Akşener sought to take over MHP leadership from Devlet Bahçeli but when her efforts failed, she established her own party.
When 15 CHP deputies resigned from their party over the weekend and joined the İYİ Party as part of a tactical move to enable the new party to run in snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, rumors emerged that CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was trying to dissuade Akşener from running for president so that both parties could field a joint candidate.
The İYİ Party’s statement eliminated this possibility.
The İYİ Party previously had five deputies in Parliament. According the Turkish elections law, only political parties that have 20 deputies in the legislature or have established local branches in half the provinces and have held a grand congress six months before the election date can run in the elections.