Pretoria News

Erdogan faces stiff re-election contest

THE man challenging Tayyip Erdogan in Türkiye’s presidential elections this weekend received a boost yesterday when a small party candidate abruptly withdrew and a closely watched poll gave him a more than five percentage point advantage.

The withdrawal by Muharrem Ince, one of four contesting Sunday’s presidential vote, could reshape the last days of campaigning in what is seen as Erdogan’s biggest test in his two-decade reign.

Financial markets are on edge given Kemal Kilicdaroglu has pledged to reverse Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies. The survey by pollster Konda put support for Erdogan on 43.7% and Kilicdaroglu on 49.3%, leaving him short of the majority needed to win in the first round and suggesting the election would go to a run-off between the two on May 28.

The findings in the Konda poll were largely in line with some other surveys that put Kilicdaroglu ahead. He was named candidate of a six-party opposition alliance and also heads the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the banner under which Ince unsuccessfully ran for president in 2018.

Erdogan’s re-election bid has been complicated by a cost-of-living crisis, triggered by a lira slump and soaring inflation, and a devastating earthquake in February which killed more than 50 000 people in Türkiye and left millions homeless.

Ince, who had 2.2% support in the Konda poll, said he had been the target of a smear campaign. |





African News Agency