Currently, Turkey is going through the most critical phase of political campaigning, ahead of the local elections next March. The political parties are making the final preparations to determine their candidates. They are also holding interparty talks for election alliances. The whole process is really hard and compels all sides to be prepared. A wrong candidate choice can simply lead to conflicts within the party, or a miscalculated step in the alliance formation meetings might pave the way for risky consequences. The latter is obviously harder because it can cause the collapse of previously established partnerships and therefore neither of the parties has completely reached a common formulation.
However, the People's Alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will remain united as before. As such, the MHP has declared that it will support the AK Party in major provinces, like Istanbul and Ankara.
On the other side, although there has not been any official confirmation, it is known that the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) will back the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidates in western cities.
Nevertheless, the HDP's close relation with the CHP may disturb both the base and leadership of the CHP's main partner, the Good Party (İP). It is because the İP comes from an ultra-nationalist political tradition, something completely opposite to the HDP.
It is not easy to predict how the CHP will manage to keep the two together in their possible alliance, but one thing is for sure, the CHP needs of both of them at the same time in the local elections. Otherwise, it is impossible to even challenge the AK Party-MHP cooperation.
At this point, the million-dollar question is which alliance will be more advantageous. When looking at the results of June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, it can be said that the People's Alliance is far more successful than its rival. However, the local elections have different dynamics. Rather than ideological or political reasons, the voters largely make their preferences according to the candidates. Therefore, all parties should follow a detailed examination in finding the right candidate in the right place.
The AK Party recently announced almost all of its candidates in major cities, including the capital Ankara, and signaled that they will cooperate with the MHP in some regions as well.
"We will do each other some favors," said AK Party chairman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Wednesday about his party's alliance with the MHP. He also stressed that he will hold meetings with MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli to determine the final shape of their campaigns.
As a result, all parties should be well-prepared for the country's sociological realities and complete their candidates' lists according to them. In the past elections, the AK Party has been the most successful in choosing the right candidates in the right places. If it can repeat that policy, it won't be surprising to see it regaining the majority in the cities and districts next March.