AKP, MHP delegations begin talks for local election alliance

AKP, MHP delegations begin talks for local election alliance

ANKARA
AKP, MHP delegations begin talks for local election alliance

Senior officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have begun talks for an alliance in the upcoming local elections.

AKP deputy leaders Numan Kurtulmuş and Mehmet Özhaseki met with MHP deputy leaders Semih Yalçın and Sadir Durmaz in parliament on Oct. 8 to discuss the details of a potential partnership for the local elections slated for late March 2019.

The two parties had established what they called the “People’s Alliance” for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, where the MHP had not introduced a presidential nominee and instead endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s candidacy. The two parties also had cooperated in the April 2017 referendum, in which the MHP supported the AKP’s “yes” vote for constitutional amendments.

The MHP recently suggested the continuation of the partnership for the upcoming local elections, while announcing it would not race for the Istanbul Municipality in gesture to the AKP. The AKP, however, stressed it will not respond to the MHP’s move, saying that it will present candidates for every constituency in the country.

“We are two separate political parties although we share the same positions on many issues and our local organizations represent similar views,” Kurtulmuş said, while adding that the two parties intended to continue the People’s Alliance in the upcoming polls.

“There are some technical issues we need to resolve. Holding an alliance for the local elections is more difficult than general elections because of the absence of a legal basis for the former. Therefore, we will continue our talks on the technical phase of this issue,” he added.

Yalçın confirmed that the talks will continue in the coming days over a host of issues. “We are planning to introduce the results of our discussions to our party chairs so that they can decide on whether an alliance will be formed,” he stressed. “But my wish is the continuation of the People’s Alliance in the most vivid way in the local elections.”

Erdoğan and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli are expected to discuss the future of their cooperation in the coming days.

AKP, MHP, Turkey elections 2019