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Turkey’s Opposition Parties Seek Presidential Rival to Erdogan

June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s main opposition parties have come close to agreeing on a candidate to challenge Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should he run in presidential elections scheduled for August.

The Republican People’s Party has proposed former Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as their presidential pick, said Akif Hamzacebi, a lawmaker from the party, by phone today. Devlet Bahceli, head of the third largest party in parliament, welcomed the suggestion in televised remarks as “very beneficial for our nation.”

Ihsanoglu was elected as president of the OIC in 2004 and worked for gender equality in the Islamic world, CNN-Turk television said today. Erdogan has yet to officially declare his candidacy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net; Ali Berat Meric in Ankara at americ@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net Jack Fairweather, Benjamin Harvey

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