Turkey's MHP rule out early local polls

Turkey's MHP rule out early local polls

Turkeys MHP rule out early local polls

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has echoed its main political ally, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in opposing to bring local elections forward from their original date in late March 2019, also ruling out election alliances with other political parties for municipal alliances. 

“Local elections should be held on time,” MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli told reporters early Aug 21.

“An alliance [with other parties] for local elections is out of the question,” he said.

Turkey will go to local elections on March 31, 2019 as a constitutional requirement that stipulates the renewal of municipal polls every five years. There have been some discussions to bring this date forward, especially after the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections but the AKP and the MHP’s opposition to this idea makes it impossible as there is a need for a two-thirds parliamentary majority to amend the constitution.

“Some circles are bringing early local polls into question at a time when we are facing some very important political and economic problems. They particularly do it for local polls. This is not right,” Bahçeli said.

The MHP leader said bringing local elections forward could create chaos given the fact political parties will have to accelerate their preparations for municipal polls in which each party will have to nominate around 20,000 contenders for various positions.

Bahçeli recalled two major alliances had run for June 24 polls, the People’s Alliance formed by the AKP and the MHP and the Nation Alliance formed by the three opposition parties, which included the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the İYİ (Good) Party and the Felicity Party (SP).

“If they want, they can try again with the Nation Alliance with the participation of the HDP [People’s Democratic Party]. They will face difficulty in providing unity among them if different sorts of candidates appear. This is true for the CHP and others. That is the reality,” he said.

Bahçeli’s statement on local polls came a day after a senior AKP official ruled out the possibility of bringing local elections forward from their original date.

“We do not consider holding snap polls. Local elections will be held on March 31, 2019. We have seven months left until elections,” said AKP deputy chair Ali İhsan Yavuz, who is in charge of election affairs.

“We [the AKP] need greater success [in the elections],” Yavuz added.

The CHP is also against early local polls.