ANKARA, July 1. /ITAR-TASS/. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will run for presidency as candidate nominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party. The party’s Deputy Chair Mehmet Ali Sahin has officially announced the recommendation during his address to the deputies and members of the Justice and Development Party in Ankara’s congress center.According to Sahin, to be nominated, the candidate should gain support of at least 20 members of the party. Erdogan was backed by all parliamentarians of the ruling party. Later on Tuesday, Erdogan will meet with the parliament’s Speaker Cemil Cicek, whom he will hand the official application for candidacy.
Thus, it is known about three nominees for presidency in Turkey so far. The oppositionist Republican People's Party and Nationalist Movement Party have agreed about a joint candidate. It is the former secretary general of Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin İhsanoglu. The pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party proposed the candidacy of its chairperson Selahattin Demirtas.
Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul said he would not run for presidency again.
Under the law, the registration of nominees is possible through July 10, but local analysts believe there would probably be no other candidacies. For the first time in Turkish history, there will be a direct election of the head of state. The first round will take place August 10. If none of the nominees gains more than 50% of votes, the second round will be held August 24.