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Erdogan’s opponent calls on supporters to ensure his victory in first round of voting


Incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s main opponent in the upcoming elections, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, of the People’s Alliance on Tuesday called on the supporters to ensure his victory as early as in the first round of voting, saying that the opposition also must gain a majority in the parliament for “a rapid change in the system.”

“One more question. If we are going to complete our work in the first round, I must say that we must complete it in such a way that the current opposition gets the most seats in the parliament. More lawmakers mean a rapid change in the system,” Kilicdaroglu said in a video message on Twitter.

The politician added that “a system where sharp criticism of the head of state will be possible” will be created in Turkey in the event of his victory in the election.

“Their [opponents’] voices will be easily heard. They will be able to oppose me as sharply as they wish. That is precisely the goal. That is what democracy is all about. In other words, freedom of speech. First, we have to make Turkey a place where dissent is possible. After that, it will be easy for everyone. That is why we have to end this in the first round. That is why I ask you to vote consciously. Let’s end this thing in the first round,” the presidential candidate added.

Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections are set to take place on May 14. The second round of voting, if necessary, will be held on May 28. Erdogan has been nominated as a presidential candidate by the ruling Justice and Development Party, supported by the allied Nationalist Movement Party, while Kilicdaroglu has been declared the single candidate of the opposition People’s Alliance. The list of presidential candidates also includes Muharrem Ince of the Homeland Party and Sinan Ogan of the ATA Alliance.

Results of pre-election polls are constantly changing and have not yet revealed a clear favorite in the upcoming election.

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