Tens of thousands candidates from numerous parties are expected to compete for 1,398 municipalities in the country's 81 provinces, 921 districts and 396 towns in the March 2019 local elections.
Political parties in the parliamentary elections are expected to nominate their own candidates for 30 metropolitan municipalities and 51 provinces. The parties are also continuing their preparations to determine candidates for 519 metropolitan district municipalities, 402 district municipalities and 319 towns. The Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) has designated 26 political parties as qualified to participate in the elections. If the same number of parties participate and nominate candidates for every 1,398 municipalities; the number of candidates will exceed 36,000, according to data provided by Anadolu Agency (AA).
Public officials who want to pose their candidacy also need to submit their resignations by Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.
As less than five months remained to the elections, political parties have increased their efforts to determine candidates to start campaign period.
Ali İhsan Yavuz, deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), indicated on Saturday in a written statement that 7,180 people applied to be candidates during the 11-day application process that began on Nov. 5. He also added that Dec. 3 will be the deadline for the application process for members of provincial and municipal assemblies.
Meanwhile, the AK Party undertook a digital tendency survey all across the country yesterday; this is a new method used for the first time in Turkey in order to prevent any cheating in the process. Some 145,000 delegates voted in 81 provinces using chip cards. The results of the survey were presented to President Erdoğan within the same day.
"A total 145,000 members of the party organization will vote in 81 provinces all around the country. The survey will end at 4 p.m. and the results will be transmitted to the party headquarters and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at 4:30 p.m." Mahir Ünal, AK Party deputy chairman, said. Ünal underscored that in addition to the tendency surveys, fieldwork, other surveys and other evaluations will be taken into consideration while determining the candidate.
Until the first week of February, the AK Party will continue to choose candidates for mayor and municipal council members. Mayoral candidates and municipal councilors are expected to be introduced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a February meeting.
As part of these local election efforts, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on the other hand, will adopt new criteria to determine their candidates. Speaking to AA, Sadir Durmaz, the MHP's deputy chairman, stressed that those who want to be candidates need to submit their projects related to the shortcomings of their respective election districts and their solutions in line with the party's vision of "productive municipalism." Pointing out that the party will invite candidates for nomination to the MHP's headquarters, Durmaz added that they will be advised to act in accordance with the nationalistic and idealistic manners of the party and avoid embarrassing the party. The MHP previously announced their candidates for five metropolitan municipalities, four provincial and three district municipalities for the elections.