CHP MP Hamzaçebi voices intention to run as Istanbul mayoral candidate
Akif Hamzaçebi, a deputy speaker at Turkey’s parliament and deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), announced on Oct. 7 that he plans to run as the CHP’s mayoral candidate for the province of Istanbul in the 2019 local elections.
“Of course I have this intention. I have embarked on this road and I am working on it,” Hamzaçebi said when asked during an interview on private broadcaster CNN Turk if he intended to put his name forward as the CHP’s mayoral candidate, following media reports on the issue.
“I do not think our party will nominate a candidate just based on one decision. Our party, its deputy chairs, and the party’s various branches will look at whether this candidate is embraced by Istanbul residents,” Hamzaçebi added.
The CHP’s candidate for the Istanbul mayoralty in the 2014 local elections was Mustafa Sarıgül, who had served as the mayor of the city’s central Şişli district between 1999 and 2014.
Sarıgül lost the race to Kadir Topbaş, the candidate from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), coming second with 40.1 percent of the votes against Topbaş’s 47.9 percent.
However, Topbaş on Sept. 22 announced that he was stepping down from his post, which he had held for the past 13 years, amid inter-party tensions at the Istanbul municipal council. The AKP subsequently announced Mevlüt Uysal as Topbaş’s replacement, with Uysal coming into the new post as a result of a meeting of the municipal council.