AKP readies for upcoming local polls with surveys

AKP readies for upcoming local polls with surveys

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has started its preparations for local elections that are likely to be held next fall by commissioning a number of polls to gauge voter opinion in municipalities run by the government.

“By using this method, we have a chance to see if our candidate is liked or not, which candidate is the most popular and how the people react to the actions of our mayors. We have the reports card of [the AKP’s] acting mayors,” said deputy AKP chairman Hüseyin Tanrıverdi. Polling firms ANAR, Pollmark and Denge has interviewed 350,000 Turkish citizens to measure voters’ level of happiness with AKP-led districts and provinces. The results of the survey will be evaluated first by the party’s Central Decision-Making Body (MYK).

Tanrıverdi, who said the surveys should be completed by the end of the Ramadan bayram holiday, said the AKP was always using survey methods to evaluate people’s attitudes before local and general elections.

According to the Constitution, the elections should be held in March 2014, but the likelihood of wintry conditions in much of the country has led the AKP to recommend moving the polls up to fall 2013. “The Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] is also warm on our offer to hold local elections in fall. As the [AKP] and MHP, we can prevent Turkey from holding an election under heavy winter conditions by making a provisional change in the Constitution,” Tanrıverdi said.

“The last period of October or the first period of November seems to be the [most] convenient dates for the local elections,” he said.