Political alliances expand scope for Turkey's local elections
The two separate alliances running in the March 31 local elections expanded their scopes in last-minute moves late Feb. 19 as the initial lists of candidates have been submitted to Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK).
The “People’s Alliance” between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has expanded further to cover 51 provinces out of 81.
The MHP will present its own candidates in the southern provinces of Adana, Mersin and the Aegean province of Manisa, while the AKP will race in 27 metropolitan cities.
As part of the new expansion, the MHP will endorse the AKP’s candidates in the metropolis of Istanbul, the capital Ankara, the Aegean province of İzmir, eastern provinces of Erzurum, Ağrı, Van and Bitlis, the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep, Şırnak and Siirt along with several others.
Both parties’ leaders’ hometowns, the southern province of Osmaniye and Black Sea province of Rize, which were not included in the alliance initially are now part of the alliance.
The main opposition and Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party have agreed to cooperate in a total of 56 provinces.
With recent alterations on the lists of both parties’ candidates of some provinces, İYİ Party withdrew its candidates from the northern province of Amasya, the Central Anatolian province of Sivas and the eastern provinces of Bingöl, Bitlis and Iğdır.
Meanwhile, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has decided not to race in 11 metropolitan cities including the capital Ankara, the Aegean province of İzmir, the metropolis of Istanbul, the northwestern province of Bursa and southern province of Adana.
Metropolitan municipality mayors are presented in large provinces with populations over 750,000, with a mayor running the entire province, such as Istanbul and Ankara, along with mayors of districts within that province. Residents living in smaller provinces elect mayors only for the districts they live in.