Source: Hurriyet Daily News

Former Turkish President Abdullah Gül on April 28 ruled out running for the presidency in June, dousing fevered speculation he would challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“There is no longer the question of my candidacy,” Gül told reporters, blaming a lack of “wide consensus” between opposition parties.

Erdoğan announced early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 instead of November 3, 2019 and rumours were rife that Gül would run against him. Gül was president between 2007 and 2014 during Erdoğan’s time as premier.

Erdoğan and Gül founded AKP with others in 2001. After Gül stepped down in 2014, Erdoğan was elected as president. Gül said the leader of the Saadet (Felicity) Party, Temel Karamollaoğlu, had independently sought to rally supporters behind the former President. “I had said that if there was a wide consensus, I would not shy away from doing my bit,” Gül said.

Gül has abstained from politics after 2014, a point which he stressed on April 28. “We are too busy with reciprocal personal attacks and political manoeuvring rather than what is good for Turkey… Turkey unfortunately does not have a positive agenda. In this environment, we are heading for elections,” Gül said.

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