AK Party, MHP signal continuing alliance in local elections

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which previously formed the People's Alliance for the June presidential elections, have been giving remarks signaling that they are likely to continue cooperation in the March 2019 local elections as the two parties consider the results of their alliance as successful.

Speaking at AK Party's meeting of provincial heads, AK Party Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that his party "will evaluate the state of the People's Alliance in the local elections." He added that "if this happens [the alliance], I believe it will boost the power of both parties." Commenting on AK Party's preparations for the local elections, Erdoğan said: "As the AK Party we would like to increase our votes and the number of municipalities that we gain."

MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli shared similar remarks on Thursday at an inauguration ceremony in Polatlı district of the capital Ankara. Underscoring that the People's Alliance will serve to protect the full-fledged consolidation, stability and the continuity of the presidential system, Bahçeli said that "We want the spirit of the People's Alliance to mark the elections of March 31, 2019. We wish that organizations of all the municipalities especially İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir will be shaped in line with the spirit and the nature of presidential governing system."

The AK Party and the MHP had decided to form a political alliance in the previous June 24 elections. As a result, the alliance won 340 seats in Parliament, 290 by the AK Party and 50 by the MHP, while the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) acquired 144 seats. As the People's Alliance was proven to be successful in the June 24 elections, they are seeking to carry the momentum to the local elections which will be held on or before Sunday, March 31 2019.

Bahçeli also slammed the CHP for a possible alliance with pro-PKK People's Democratic Party (HDP). Referring to some municipalities where trustees were appointed because of administrations' link to terrorists, Bahçeli said that it is significant that these municipalities should never be left to the hands of supporters of terrorism again. The state had appointed trustees to HDP-linked municipalities due to their cooperation with the PKK. Since 2016, Turkey has removed the elected administrations of 93 municipalities in the region for their links to the PKK terrorist group.

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