AK Party begins groundwork for local elections

AK Party begins groundwork for local elections

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is set to lay the groundwork for local elections next year after analyzing the results of the recent June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections.

The AK Party convened Central Decision Board (MKYK) and Central Executive Board (MYK) meetings last week to discuss the election results. Analyzing the 7 percent drop in votes, the AK Party vowed to work harder for the 2019 local elections, some eight months away.

According to media reports yesterday, the ruling party will start local election work in September. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted as saying that the party has received the message that the people gave them on the Election Day. "We will continue our path by accurately analyzing the message given in the elections and doing whatever is necessary," he reportedly told fellow party members.

All party branches and local organizations were urged to draw up reports as to why the party has not been able to attract more voters in specific regions or districts. Meanwhile, AK Party Ankara Deputy and Head of the Women Branch Lütfiye Selva Çam said that the party would use the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)

system to analyze the behaviors and preferences of voters.

Stressing that the party needs sociological analyses as much as technical analyses, Çam stressed that the SWOT

analysis will serve as a road map for the whole party.

The president also reportedly stressed that the party should not get out of the election atmosphere and remain enthusiastic. "We will get ready for the local elections, while there is an election atmosphere. At this stage, we will try to find mayoral candidates that the people would prefer and love," he was also quoted as saying in the MKYK and MYK meetings.

Therefore, the president wants the party to hold the ordinary congress on Aug. 18 instead of Sept. 12 to prevent any complacency. The new government will also start the new term very quickly to get down to work.

Speaking to journalists in front of AK Party headquarters on Friday prior to the MKYK and MYK meetings, AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Mustafa Elitaş said that the duty of the government officially starts once the president takes the oath. He was referring to the new executive presidential system that came into effect with the June 24 elections.

Explaining that elections for the speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey will be held on July 13, Elitaş said that there would be a ceremony on July 15 to commemorate the victims of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

He added that there would also be further processes regarding the elections for parliamentary committees. Responding to questions about who the AK Party's candidate for speaker would be, Elitaş said that the party would reveal its choice on July 8 or July 9. "We will hold our first parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, July 10," he said.

It was also reported yesterday that the MKYK and MYK meetings served as exploratory gatherings for the AK Party's candidate for the parliamentary speakership. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım is believed to have had the most votes among fellow party members.

In the June 24 elections, the AK Party formed an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). As a result of the elections, AK Party had 42.5 percent of the votes, losing the majority in Parliament. The MHP received 11.1 percent of the vote, pushing the People's Alliance to 53.6 percent.

In the previous parliamentary elections, which were held Nov. 1, 2015, the AK Party received 49.5 percent of the votes and formed the government with 317 of the 550 seats in Parliament. The AK Party was followed by the CHP, which gained 25.31 percent of the votes. The MHP had 11.9 percent, while the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) got 10.76 percent of the votes.

According to these results, the People's Alliance received 344 parliamentarian seats, of which 295 are AK Party deputies. In 25 of the 30 largest provinces of Turkey, the People's Alliance was the leading alliance, while in the others, the Nation Alliance prevailed, which was formed by the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Good Party (İP) and the Felicity Party (SP). Most of the provinces where the People's Alliance was victorious are in the northern, central and southern parts of the country. The MHP increased its vote percentage in 45 provinces across the country. The AK Party is expected to retain the alliance in the March 2019 local elections as well. Media reports yesterday pointed out that President Erdoğan stressed in the MKYK and MYK meetings that the alliance would be carried into the local elections. However, the president warned all fellow party members to not damage the notion of the alliance.

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