ISTANBUL — Turkish presidential candidate Muharrem Ince has pulled out of the race, in a potential boost to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, ahead of Sunday’s vote.
Polls showed that Ince was trailing a distant third, and some opposition figures feared he would split the anti-Erdogan vote.
“I am pulling out of this race. I am doing this for my country,” he said at a press conference in Ankara.
Ince, who had low polling numbers, withdrew amid what he characterized as a “slander campaign” against him.
“I don’t want them to blame me when they lose,” he said referring to the main opposition.
His party, Homeland, will remain in the parliamentary race. “I urge each household to give Homeland Party at least one vote,” he said.
Ince didn’t endorse any of the remaining candidates. – CNN