CHP says it will update strategies ahead of local elections
Rifat Başaran - ANKARA
With aims to win Istanbul and Ankara in the upcoming municipal elections slated for March 2019, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has begun works to develop and update its strategies to run the country’s largest cities currently under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
A report, prepared by deputy leader Seyit Torun drawing new strategies for the party’s local governance, will be discussed at the CHP’s Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Sept. 7 under the leadership of chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
After failing to win the presidential elections and underperforming in the parliamentary polls in June, the CHP is now targeting to win big provinces like Bursa, Antalya, Manisa, Mersin and Balıkesir, along with Ankara and Istanbul.
The CHP will first review the performances of the current CHP mayors and the projects they carried out throughout their tenure. The party will also analyze how they used the municipality budgets and to what extent they met the needs of the locals. The results will lead the CHP to decide whether or not to re-elect them as candidates to run in the elections.
In some constituencies, the CHP is also planning to nominate bi-partisan figures, according to surveys being conducted by the party’s local organizations.
“The Strategy and Vision Document will contain the main principles of the CHP’s new municipal approach. We are obligated to find solutions to make our cities more livable and our citizens happier. These are only possible by planning the future,” Torun told daily Hürriyet.
Torun said municipalities run by the CHP have far fewer problems in comparison to municipalities run by other parties, despite the pressure he says is imposed by the government.
“You can see this in Aydın, Muğla and Eskişehir. We are taking serious steps for the future despite all kinds of restrictions and threats from the government. As a matter of fact, the government’s discriminative and oppressive stance hinders us from doing many other things. CHP municipalities are under permanent inspection,” he added.
Asked on whether the CHP is considering partnering with other political parties in the local polls, Torun said: “In local elections, mayors are not elected through the support given to political parties. In many cases, your candidate can get support from the voters of other parties. That’s why what’s important for us is not creating an alliance between political parties but an alliance with the people.”