The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) announced yesterday mayoral candidates of the party for 105 districts and townships for the upcoming local elections scheduled for March 2019.
The list, which did not include the name of any districts from the country's culture and commercial capital Istanbul and CHP stronghold western Izmir province, but only Güdül district of the capital Ankara, was revealed after a party meeting chaired by party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. Some 39 of 105 names on the list are incumbent mayors of the CHP. The party also reportedly will not hold a primary election to determine other candidates.
While the names of the candidates for various provinces were announced yesterday, the CHP's candidate for major metropolitan municipalities including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir have yet to be announced. It was previously stated that the CHP is expected to announce its candidates for major cities at a later date as part of its election strategy.
Meanwhile, the former presidential candidate of the CHP, Muharrem Ince, confirmed media reports on his mayoral candidacy for Istanbul metropolitan municipality in the March 2019 local elections. Speaking Tuesday in an interview with Hürriyet daily, Ince, who is regarded as the leader of the dissidents within the CHP, stressed that he is ready for the candidacy with the condition of holding a primary election.
"The CHP has approximately 250,000 [party organization] members in Istanbul. If all the members hold a primary election and I am their first preference, I am ready for the candidacy," he said. He said that if the 250,000 members, which is "a significant number," act together, the party will win Istanbul, breaking the decades-old rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the city, and inherently positioning it in the next presidential elections in 2023 as well.
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