The People's Alliance formed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the June 24 elections will continue after the upcoming local elections until 2023, the MHP leader said on Saturday.
Speaking at a gathering of provincial heads of the party, the MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli reportedly signaled the continuation of the alliance after the upcoming March 2019 local elections and said that the "People's Alliance will continue until 2023" when the next presidential elections take place. Touching upon his meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week, Bahçeli said that he shares the same determination and will as Erdoğan with regard to the continuation of the alliance.
He pointed out that the amnesty law proposed by MHP that caused some disagreements between the two parties has nothing to do with the alliance, indicating that different pieces should be combined within the context of a "political combining" model.
Relevant laws for local elections do not permit an official alliance, contrary to previous parliamentary elections. Therefore, the two parties will reportedly look for strategies for an "alliance on the candidate" rather than an alliance on ballots.
Commenting on preparations for the upcoming elections, Bahçeli said that they will nominate candidates for every municipality except İstanbul and would support AK Party candidates in the city.
He also underscored that the People's Alliance should be cautious in the face of likely alliances of opposition parties and have to win municipalities with trustees that were appointed to replace pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)-linked municipalities due to their cooperation with the terrorist organization since 2016.
Accordingly, Numan Kurtulmuş, deputy head of the AK Party, said in a press briefing on Saturday: "The People's Alliance is not only for local elections. This alliance is a will on the national issues of Turkey and retaining the alliance means protecting the national interest of Turkey."
Kurtulmuş also highlighted the importance of the MHP's support to the government of the AK Party on issues such as the fight against terrorist groups including the PKK, Daesh, the PKK-affiliated Syrian People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the defeated July 2016 coup attempt. The AK Party and the MHP formed the People's Alliance for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections. The alliance received a majority in Parliament with 52.6 percent of the votes in parliamentary elections. As the alliance proved to be successful, the parties seek to carry this momentum to the local elections.
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