Turkish presidential candidate Muharrem Ince withdraws his candidacy

Turkish presidential candidate Muharrem Ince withdraws his candidacy

Ankara, The Gulf Observer: Memleket Party candidate Muharrem Ince withdrew from the May 14 presidential elections in a surprise announcement that left only three in the fray for Türkiye’s top job.

Ince, 58, was the defeated candidate in the 2018 presidential polls, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won with 53 percent votes. Ince had received just over 30 percent of the votes.

Ince, who made the announcement in the capital Ankara on Thursday, did not give any reason for his decision to pull out of the race.

“I am withdrawing from the candidacy and doing so for the sake of my country,” he told reporters.

“I offered a third option to Türkiye” by being a candidate for the presidency, he said, claiming that by dropping out, he left no excuses for the opposition to blame him.

He was under pressure from the main opposition coalition CHP which had accused him of splitting the opposition votes by contesting.

However, Ince’s Memleket Party candidates will contest in the parliamentary elections as announced.

Ince was among the four presidential candidates along with incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kemal Kilicdaroglu and Sinan Ogan in the country’s May 14 elections on Sunday.