The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) began its three-day camp today with the aim of formulating a strategy for local elections and the structure of a possible alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The MHP will hold its camp ahead of the beginning of the new legislative term on Sept. 28-30 in the Kızılcahamam district of Ankara province. The upcoming local elections in March 2019 will be the main agenda of the MHP.
As it is not possible to legally form alliances in local elections, the MHP and AK Party are expected to draw a road map for their cooperation in the elections. Previously, the ruling AK Party announced that it will nominate candidates in all provinces. MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, however, announced that his party will not nominate a candidate in Istanbul.
Considering the statements from the AK Party, it has been argued that the two parties might maintain an alliance in the membership of municipal councils. Accordingly, for the support from the MHP the AK Party will nominate names from MHP lines in its lists for members of municipal councils.
Another option that has been argued by some is that in some provinces or districts, MHP members may participate in elections under the roof of the AK Party as it has declared that it will nominate candidates in all provinces.
The MHP and the AK Party had been previously signaling that they will continue the alliance that they formed in the June 24 presidential elections. The People's Alliance, formed for June 24, won 340 seats in Parliament, 290 for the AK Party and 50 for the MHP, while the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) acquire
d 144 seats. Built on the June 24 success of the People's Alliance, the two parties are seeking to carry the momentum to the local elections which will be held on or before Sunday, March 31, 2019.
In line with the decision to cooperate in local elections, the deputy heads of the two parties met recently to discuss a possible alliance. AK Party Deputy Chairman Mehmet Özhaseki, who is in charge of the responsibilities for the party's local administrations, said the parties had agreed to "remain faithful to the [People's] Alliance."
"The four basic principles that [Chairman] Bahçeli mentions are not contrary to our party; the talks will continue between the delegations of both sides," Özhaseki said following his meeting with MHP Deputy Chairman Sadir Durmaz.
Meanwhile, the MHP has become the first pa
rty to announce its candidates for some provinces and districts. The MHP decided to continue with its current Mayor Hüseyin Sözlü for Adana Metropolitan Municipality. It announced Hami Tuna as its candidate for Mersin Metropolitan Municipality. In the Polatlı district of Ankara, it announced current Mayor Mürsel Yıldızkaya and for the Etimesgut district, incumbent Enver Demirel. It is expected that the MHP will announce more names following its camp in Kızılcahamam.