Former Turkish President Gül will not run for presidency

Former Turkish President Gül will not run for presidency”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started campaigning for his re-election, saying he would certainly win the snap vote called for June.

The rally in Izmir marked an unofficial start of Erdogan's campaign as he has yet to formally declare his candidacy for the elections.

Erdogan announced early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 instead of November 3, 2019 and rumors were rife that Gul would run against him. Gul is a founding member of Erdogan's ruling party, and briefly served as Turkey's prime minister following elections that brought the party to power in 2002.

Rights campaigners and worldwide organizations have expressed doubts about the legitimacy of the elections which would come under a renewed state of emergency in Turkey.

He promised thousands of flag-waving supporters victory in the presidential and parliamentary polls and declared the leader of the CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a dictator. "Whatever Istanbul says, Turkey will follow", Erdoğan said.Under the changes, the number of lawmakers in parliament rises to 600 from 550, presidential and parliamentary elections are held every five years, and presidents can retain ties to their political party.

To win in the first round, a candidate needs more than 50 percent of the votes.

Erdogan's most credible challenge is seen coming from Meral Aksener, a former interior minister who previous year founded the nationalist Iyi (Good) Party and has said she would run. He served as Erdogan's foreign minister and Turkey's eleventh president.

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