AKP may reveal Istanbul mayor candidate after talks with MHP
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might hold a meeting with the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) soon, before his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) reveals the mayoral candidates for the remaining seven provinces, with Istanbul being of key importance.
“We have already announced the candidates for 74 municipalities. We will declare the remaining ones in accordance with a study that our alliance carries out,” Erdoğan said on Dec. 7 after performing his Friday prayers in Ankara.
Erdoğan named 14 more candidates in Ankara on Dec. 6 in addition to the previously declared 60 runners. The party previously declared two strong names for the capital Ankara and Turkey’s third largest province İzmir, former ministers Mehmet Özhaseki and Nihat Zeybekci respectively. However, the candidate for Istanbul still remains undeclared, despite media reports claiming that Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım, a former prime minister, will run for the seat.
The two parties had established the “People’s Alliance” for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, for which the MHP had not introduced a presidential nominee and instead endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s candidacy. The two parties had also cooperated in the April 2017 referendum, in which the MHP supported the AKP’s “yes” vote for constitutional amendments.
“As soon as our staff concludes their technical study, we can meet with Mr. [Devlet] Bahçeli this week. And if he is available,” Erdoğan told reporters.
The People’s Alliance is “extremely important for the local elections at a time when so many nations are attacking our country,” he said.
The party is determined to sustain the alliance, the president said.
“Some structures might have been jealous of our solidarity and our sensitiveness on walking to the future,” Erdoğan said, referring to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
“The main opposition and those who are jealous,” Erdoğan said.
“We are determined to not let our alliance break.”
The CHP revealed the names of its mayoral candidates for 16 provinces on Dec. 6, the first such statement from the party.
The party picked the currently serving mayors of eight cities to re-run, six of whom will run for metropolitan municipalities, which have bigger budgets.
No other party has so far declared its candidates for the three largest cities of the country.