ISTANBUL (AP) — Two of Turkey’s main opposition parties will field a joint candidate in the country’s upcoming presidential election — selecting a former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for a race in which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to run.
The opposition secular Republican People’s Party, or CHP, and the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, agreed on former OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as their candidate in the Aug. 10 election. It will be the first time a Turkish president is elected directly by the people rather than by parliament.
“It is a great courtesy to be a focal point in this compromise . I welcome CHP and MHP’s joint decision with gratitude and respect,” the state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Ihsanoglu, an academic and diplomat, as saying Monday.
Erdogan has not yet announced his candidacy but is widely expected to do so.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.