Turkey’s right wing IYI Party has proposed that the mayors of Ankara and Istanbul serve as vice presidents if the opposition wins the May election, a spokesperson said Monday, after the party left the main opposition alliance last week.
The suggestion could pave the way for IYI to return to the bloc.
IYI, which was the second-biggest party in the alliance of six parties, exited the group last week after its leader Meral Aksener rejected the expected nomination of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) as the bloc’s presidential candidate.
Instead she had proposed that either Ekrem Imamoglu or Mansur Yavas, mayors of Istanbul and Ankara, be the candidate, saying opinion polls showed they would win against Erdogan by a large margin.
Hours before the five remaining parties of the alliance were to announce Kilicdaroglu as their candidate, the two mayors held a brief meeting with Aksener who conveyed to them a fresh proposal for them to serve as vice presidents should the bloc win the May 14 election.
Aksener put forward an “inclusive” proposal, IYI spokesperson Kursad Zorlu told reporters, moments after the two mayors finished their meeting.
“She has conveyed the proposal that the two mayors serve as executive vice presidents,” Zorlu said. “Our leader will convey this proposal to Kilicdaroglu in the coming moments,” he added.
The opposition drama comes two months before presidential and parliamentary elections. A major factor for voters is expected to be last month’s devastating earthquake, which killed more than 45,000 people and left millions homeless.