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Turkish Opposition Hopes 4 Parties Are Mightier Than 1 Against Erdogan

“The clouds of desperation are hanging over the country,” he said. “I promise serenity, happiness and I promise peace.”

In all, four opposition parties have banded together, supporting each other’s candidates. They have even offered a hand to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, whose leader, Selahattin Demirtas, is in jail on various charges, from terrorism to insulting the president.

In a bold gesture, Mr. Ince visited Mr. Demirtas in jail, risking accusations from Mr. Erdogan of collusion with terrorists, but reaching out to a critical part of the electorate. The Kurdish vote, roughly 10 percent of the electorate, could swing the overall vote against Mr. Erdogan.

Independent opinion surveys show Mr. Erdogan at 45 percent support, with Mr. Ince at 20 percent. Yet when combined, the opposition alliance stands, plus the Kurds, neck and neck with Mr. Erdogan.

The president had 45.9 percent support, not enough to win the election outright in the first round, according to a survey last month by the Metropoll, an independent polling organization. The combined opposition vote amounted to 44.5 percent.

Source: NYT > World

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