The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will focus on solving local problems during the run-up to the 2019 elections and stick to the main objective of winning the hearts of people, AK Party spokesperson Mahir Ünal said Sunday.
"In the upcoming elections, we will conduct a new campaign model which is internet based and focuses on local problems," Ünal said during a meeting held in Antalya with the participation of the party's women, youth and media heads.
Underlining the significance of the party's media and local heads for conducting the election campaign, Ünal said that local heads will convey their ideas and feelings to the center.
He added that, "With the strategy and plans produced from the center, we will be able to immediately detect problems and provide local solutions."
In relation to the electorates' preferences Ünal said that voters' preference for a party depends on gaining their consent and building on their approval.
Commenting on the results of elections in Turkey, Ünal stressed that AK Party has been winning elections for 16 years as "it achieved to win the hearts of people."
He highlighted that the AK Party will continue this policy despite the smear campaigns. The AK Party hopes to have a better understanding of how effectively the party's municipalities have fulfilled their promises.
According to party sources, the AK Party's chairman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, instructed mayors and provincial heads to reach out to as many people as possible to listen to their needs and work in line with their requests as the country heads toward the 2019 local elections.
In order to prepare in full swing for the local elections that will be held in March 2019, AK Party authorities demanded mayors to pay heed to the warnings.
In the regional meetings held with the participation of the mayors and 7,500 members of party assembly, the mayors were asked to enhance ties with citizens and fulfill their previous promises. They were also asked to solve problems if there is any within the party districts.
During the meetings it is reported that mayors were reminded that their terms would be a reference point for applying again to be a candidate in the 2019 elections.
Alliance with MHP to be explained abroad
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) officials have begun work to explain the People's Alliance, formed with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and adjustment laws for Turkish nationals living in European countries.
In the coordination section of the AK Party External Relations department, 10 separate delegations were formed, which will include deputy chairmen, deputies and academics. The delegations will explain the alliance law that was recently approved by Parliament in every European country where Turkish citizens live, including Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium. The delegations will directly meet with nongovernmental organizations and Turkish nationals.
The AK Party and the MHP formed the People's Alliance after MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli announced that his party will not name a candidate for the 2019 presidential elections and will support the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The People's Alliance is the first legal alliance example in Turkish political history. Before electoral alliances were legalized, parties used to make de facto alliances for elections but with the recent 26-article alliance bill, the way for alliances was paved.
Additionally, AK Party delegates will also talk about the new presidential government system that is expected to take effect after the Nov. 3, 2019 elections. The new system will hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president while abolishing the post of the prime minister. The president will also be allowed to keep his ties to a political party. Other changes are the minimum age for parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 while increasing the number of parliamentary deputies to 600. Under the proposed new constitution, simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections will be held and the president will serve a five-year term.
The ruling party gives importance to the ability of foreign citizens to vote and the significant amount of foreign voters according to the election results. In the last general elections that were held on Nov. 1, 2015, in which the AK Party received 49.5 percent of the votes in Turkey, the party received 56 percent of the votes from abroad. The results of the constitutional reform referendum held on April 16, 2017, in which more than 1 million Turkish nationals participated from abroad, showed that 59 percent of Turkish nationals abroad voted "yes" on the amendment. According to the latest data from the Supreme Election Board (YSK), there are 2.972 million voters abroad. The country with the most voters is Germany with nearly 1.5 million.
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