Turkey fledgling Iyi Party to run in June polls

  • Turkey fledgling Iyi Party to run in June polls

Turkey fledgling Iyi Party to run in June polls

Meanwhile, on Sunday 15 lawmakers from CHP switched their party affiliation to the centre-right Iyi Party, which was established a year ago, to ensure the party would be eligible for the June 24 election.

"If they are handed to us, we will consider" the situation on Greek soldiers, Erdogan said.

Turkey's Supreme Election Board announced on Sunday that the Iyi party would be allowed to run in the country's upcoming presidential and parliamentary election.

According to Reuters news agency, Erdogan's "most credible challenge is seen as coming from Meral Aksener, a popular former interior minister who previous year founded the nationalist Iyi (Good) Party after splitting with the nationalist MHP, which is supporting Erdogan". The CHP has 116 members in the 550-seat parliament after the departures. The president is widely seen as the most divisive politician in modern Turkish history. "They will go down as heroes who saved the democracy following their responsibility to their party", CHP spokesman Bulent Tezcan told a news conference.

"This is not an easy task to do".

More than a dozen Turkish opposition lawmakers switched parties Sunday in a show of solidarity as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rivals scramble to challenge him in a surprise snap election that could solidify his rule.

The snap presidential and parliamentary elections called for June 24 last week caught Turkey off guard. The opposition is in disarray as it struggles to put forward candidates and campaign plans.

"Even though the president and government are working in unison, the diseases of the old system confront us at every step we take", he said in a speech broadcast live on Wednesday.

In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved a bill switching Turkey from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

"Concerning references to an exchange. between the matter of the Greek soldiers and other issues, we stress once more that it is unacceptable and is rejected", a statement from the office of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.

The Turkish Parliament on Wednesday extended the state of emergency, imposed in the wake of a failed coup in 2016, for another three months for the seventh time.

It regained its majority in the November elections, but the period in between saw violence re-erupting in the Kurdish-majority southeast of the country, which some election observers said risked the validity of the vote.