• OPPOSITION BACKS ACADEMIC TO BATTLE ERDOGAN

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    ANKARA: Turkey’s two main opposition parties backed an Islamic-leaning intellectual on Monday to challenge an expected bid by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the presidency. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) threw their support behind Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, an experienced academic and diplomat, to run against Erdogan in Turkey’s first democratic presidential vote on August 10. “We propose a name that everyone can agree on and who can serve as a model of dignity, honesty and knowledge,” CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said. Monday’s announcement capped weeks of intense talks between opposition parties aimed at finding a candidate capable of challenging Erdogan, who has held power since 2003. Devlet Bahceli, head of the ultra-nationalist MHP, said his party was “pleased” with the choice of Ihsanoglu.

    AFP

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