The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have drafted their alliance strategy in 30 metropolitan cities for the upcoming local elections in March 2019.
Speaking to Daily Sabah, MHP sources underscored that the AK Party will not nominate candidates for Manisa, Mersin and Adana provinces to support MHP mayoral candidates. The AK Party is also expected to withdraw its candidate for the northeastern Kars province where the MHP won the 2014 local elections, letting the MHP field its own candidate. Also, the AK Party will possibly pull back its Iğdır candidate and back the MHP.
According to the alliance strategy, the MHP will support the AK Party in 27 metropolitan municipalities in the upcoming local elections. It also may withdraw its 8 more mayoral candidates in exchange for the AK Party's gesture in Iğdır and Kars provinces. MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli previously announced that the MHP won't nominate mayor candidates in Turkey's largest cities of Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, but will instead support candidates of the AK Party. In a bid to further strengthen the alliance, the MHP also decided this month to withdraw nominations of its mayoral candidates in Aydın, Denizli and Erzurum municipalities.
Meanwhile, Bahçeli said yesterday that his party will respect any decision President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes on the basis of reconciliation in the alliance. He also added that the two leaders' meeting last week was fruitful and that the two the leaders may hold a joint meeting as part of the election campaign.
The People's Alliance between the MHP and the AK Party was formed ahead of the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections. The alliance received a majority in Parliament with 53.7 percent of the votes, while the Nation Alliance formed by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the right-wing Good Party (İP), the conservative Felicity Party (SP) and the center-right Democrat Party (DP), received 33.9 percent of the votes. As the last elections proved a success for the alliance, the AK Party and the MHP seek to carry this momentum forward in the local elections.
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