Cenk Uygur Ineligible For Arkansas Presidential Primary

Cenk Uygur, the online news personality born in Turkey, will be kept out from the Democratic presidential primary ballot in Arkansas next year, according to the authorities of Arkansas election. This is after Uygur claimed to have made history as the first naturalized citizen on a presidential ballot after completing paperwork with the state and the Arkansas Democratic Party.

Uygur and his parents relocated to the United States from Turkey when he was 8 years old. In his letter to Uygur, Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston wrote,

“My office has received your candidate filing paperwork. However, based on your own proclamation, you are not qualified to hold the elected office for which you filed. Therefore, I cannot, in good faith, certify your name on the ballot.” The qualifications for the presidency as stipulated in the constitution, require that one must be 35-years-old and a “natural-born citizen”.

Several other states, including key early primary states such as New Hampshire and Nevada, have also rejected Uygur’s application to appear on the ballot. Uygur has stated that he feels like naturalized citizens are being treated as second-class citizens, and has argued that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution makes him eligible to be president.

He said, “this is the last acceptable form of bigotry in American society, and I will fight it with all my might.” I’m not going to accept that I do not belong in my own country.” Uygur, a co-creator of online news and commentary show “The Young Turks” officially announced his presidential bid in October targeting President Joe Biden.

This follows a previous unsuccessful bid Uygur made for a California congressional seat. Reed Brewer, a representative of a Democratic Party of Arkansas, pointed out that the party is not entitled to decide whether Uygur could stay on the ballot, based on the past court decisions.

Brewer stressed that due to the complexity of state law, the party was not allowed to reject a filing. There is uncertainty on whether the refund of the $2,500 filing fee will be made by the Arkansas Democratic Party as the situation unravels.

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