Countdown begins for Turkey’s local elections
The countdown for Turkey’s local polls - set to be held on March 31 - kicked off on Jan. 1, according to an electoral calendar released by the Supreme Election Council.
On Jan. 2, the council will disclose the political parties that will run in the polls.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which had formed the People’s Alliance ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, 2018, are expected to nominate joint candidates in many provinces.
On the Nation’s Alliance side, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has been in cooperation with the İYİ (Good) Party.
The AKP has already announced its 74 candidates, while the CHP has announced 36 candidates, the MHP 34 candidates, and the İYİ Party 15 candidates.
The AKP has nominated Mehmet Özhaseki, its deputy chair and a former environment and urbanization minister, for mayor of capital Ankara in the upcoming election.
Mansur Yavaş, former mayor of Ankara’s Beypazarı district and a member of the MHP in the past, has been nominated by the CHP in Ankara.
In Istanbul, the race will take place between the current parliament speaker and former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım of the AKP and the CHP’s candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, who is currently mayor of Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district.
The AKP has nominated Nihat Zeybekci, former economy minister, in İzmir - Turkey’s third most populous province and a stronghold of the CHP.
Turkish local polls are held every five years to elect mayors of 30 metropolitan municipalities and 51 provincial municipalities.
Along with metropolitan, provincial and district mayors, voters will also elect municipal council members in cities and - in rural areas - muhtars and members of elder councils.
The last local elections were held in March 30, 2014, which saw the AKP clinch more than 45 percent of the vote.
Jan. 1: Election process officially begins.
Jan. 2: Names of political parties that may run in the polls will be announced.
Jan. 27: Order of political parties’ names on ballot papers will be determined by lots drawn by the Supreme Election Council.
Feb. 22: Temporary lists of candidates for provincial and district mayors will be announced. Lists will be subject to appeal until March 3.
Feb. 28: Voter notification cards will begin being distributed (until March 24).
March 21: Campaigning period officially begins.
March 30: Campaigning period ends.
March 31: Election Day