The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and right-wing Good Party (İP) will continue their alliance in the upcoming March 2019 local elections by appealing directly to their voter bases.
"Talks with İP are still continuing. Our aim in these talks is to take steps in every area in Turkey to make the country breathe a sigh of relief," Veli Ağbaba, the CHP's deputy chairman, said on Saturday in a press briefing. Stressing that the CHP has always been suggesting collaborating directly with the voter base instead of officially forming an alliance, Ağbaba said that they will nominate their candidates in line with this strategy. CHP incumbent Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and İP Chairwoman Meral Akşener met last week, while delegations of the two parties also held a technical meeting on Friday, hinting at the continuation of the Nation Alliance, the bloc that was formed for the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections. Accordingly, Lütfü Türkkan, the İP's group deputy chairman, stated on Saturday that they are cooperating with the CHP but they will not make an alliance at the party level.
"The meetings between the two party leaders is not about forming an alliance but cooperating for some election districts," he said.
Pointing out that cooperation will be limited with some of the metropolitan cities, Türkkan underscored that İP will field its own candidates in every election districts except some metropolitan cities. He added that İP does not need the support of other parties nor their alliance.
Both parties previously formed the Nation Alliance with the participation of the conservative Felicity Party (SP) and the center-right Democrat Party (DP) ahead of the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections. The alliance received 33.9 percent of the votes, suffering a defeat to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) People's Alliance, which received 53.7 percent of the votes. Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu promised on Saturday to comply with the stipulated 20 percent quota for women and 33 percent quota for younger people for the candidates in the upcoming elections. Commenting on the election campaign of the party, Kılıçdaroğlu said that the CHP will "tell all the truth to everybody regardless of their views and without discrimination by walking street to street."
Kılıçdaroğlu also reiterated his party's determination to win over the Istanbul metropolitan municipality where the opposition has tried to break the decades-old rule of the AK Party. Kılıçdaroğlu underscored that the party will "transform the city to one that the world will envy." The CHP grappled with a massive defeat in the June 24 elections by only gaining 22.6 percent of votes, a lower level of support compared to the previous elections. The party's vote in the metropolitan cities also decreased considerably.