Istanbul mayor says new candidate decision up to ruling AKP
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş told reporters July 24 that the ultimate decision on who would run for his position next term is up to the ruling Justice and Development Party, while adding that he “is here.” DHA photoIstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş told reporters July 24 that the ultimate decision on who would run for his position next term is up to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), while adding that he “is here.”
“I am here, if God allows it… Of course this is politics. Our citizens and my party will be making that decision. I thank my party for giving me two consecutive terms,” Topbaş said during an iftar event hosting representatives of Istanbul’s local authorities.
“All political parties will start from Istanbul for their strongest candidates. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) did so as well with Kılıçdaroğlu, who was then made the party leader. Istanbul is an effective force. The decision will be made by my party, my prime minister and as result of surveying public opinion,” Topbaş said.
Rumors about the next possible candidate for the job have been surfacing over the past few weeks, with reports claiming Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış was among the forerunners.
Bağış has said he will support Topbaş as well as the government’s decision as to who will run for the mayoralty in next year’s local elections amid growing speculation about the party’s candidate.
Local elections are set to take place on March 30, 2014. According to an internal AKP bylaw, a member cannot be a deputy candidate for parliamentary elections for more than three times in a row. Around 70 deputies, including Bağış, will not have the chance to stand during general elections in 2015. As such, formulas to employ the deputies at different levels of the political system are being sought.