Presidential election in Turkey: an opponent of Recep Tayyip Erdogan throws in the towel

He throws in the towel. Muharrem Ince, one of four candidates for the Turkish presidential of May 14, announced Thursday the withdrawal of his candidacy at a press conference. Leader of the Memleket (“Fatherland”) party, he was credited with 2 to 4% of voting intentions in the latest opinion polls.

Several executives of his party had resigned in recent days, worried that the candidacy of Muharrem Ince would prevent Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, at the head of an alliance bringing together six opposition parties, from winning against the President Erdogan, in power for twenty years. He has also justified his decision to withdraw by saying that the opposition alliance “will lay all the blame” on him if it loses.

A withdrawal that favors the opponent of Erdogan

Kemal Kiliçdaroglu is in a good position against President Erdogan. The latest opinion poll released Thursday by the renowned Konda Institute credited Kemal Kiliçdaroglu with 49.3% of the vote in the first round, against 43.7% for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and 2.2% for Muharrem Ince.

According to a survey by the Metropoll institute carried out at the beginning of April, the withdrawal of Muharrem Ince should benefit Kemal Kiliçdaroglu more than the outgoing head of state. President Erdogan, 69, will face his most uncertain election since coming to power in 2003 on Sunday. More than 1.8 million Turks have already voted from abroad and at customs offices, according to figures from the High Committee Turkish election.

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