ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A politician who once ran as a presidential challenger to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, formed a new political party on Monday, months after he broke away from Turkey’s main opposition party.
Muharrem Ince, 56, formally applied to the Interior Ministry to establish the Memleket Partisi, or Homeland Party, and was immediately chosen as its chairman.
In February, he left the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, citing policy differences. Four other legislators also left the CHP to join Ince’s new party.
The politician ran as CHP’s candidate against Erdogan in Turkey’s 2018 presidential election, getting 31% of the votes behind Erdogan’s 53% support.
He had become a vocal critic of CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and made unsuccessful bids to replace him as party chairman.
Ince has ruled out any possibility of his movement backing a nationalist political alliance that is led by Erdogan’s ruling party. The CHP is part of a rival alliance with the center-right Good Party and other parties.
Ince had become a vocal critic of CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and made unsuccessful bids to replace him as party chairman.