AK Party, MHP's possible alliance expected to focus on major cities in local elections

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 17.09.2018 04:00

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which have been signaling that they continue their previous alliance from the presidential elections, are expected to focus on winning in major cities in local elections and support each other's candidates in provinces where the possibility of winning of the respective party is high.

It is expected that AK Party might ask the MHP for support in the capital Ankara and Istanbul, the country's commercial center. Both provinces are deemed crucial in elections as they are the top two most populated provinces and reflect the overall success of parties. The AK Party, on the other hand, may offer support to the MHP in provinces such as Adana and Mersin. In nearly 10 provinces where the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) narrowly won, the AK Party would expect support from the MHP.

Furthermore, both the AK Party and the MHP seek to follow a special strategy to win 93 municipalities where trustees were appointed because of administrations' link to the PKK terror group. In relation to the issue, Bahçeli said last week these municipalities should never be left in the hands of supporters of terrorism again.

While no concrete decisions have been made, the details of a possible alliance will be ironed out in an expected meeting of party leaders. AK Party spokesman Ömer Çelik said recently that a meeting between MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is imminent. 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 successful in the June 24 elections, they seek to carry the momentum to local elections that will be held on or before Sunday, March 31, 2019.

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