Local election alliance still on table for AK Party, MHP

NUR ÖZKAN ERBAY
ANKARA
Published 20.11.2018 23:46
Updated 21.11.2018 17:07

The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Chairman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli are expected to discuss today the possibility of a district/province-specific alliance for the upcoming March 2019 local elections.

President Erdoğan yesterday said that the local elections will top the agenda of today's meeting, stressing that this is the expectation of the voter bases of the two parties.

Sources speaking to Daily Sabah said that Erdoğan and Bahçeli will focus on the specific provinces or districts that are critical and might be lost to other opposition parties in the case of a separation of AK Party and MHP votes. The sources added that scenarios, where some districts can be won in case of an alliance, will be also discussed.

Both leaders have strongly voiced their support for continuing the People's Alliance in Parliament that was formed for the June 24 elections but announced that they will not seek a full alliance in the local elections.

Previously, Bahçeli announced that the MHP will participate in the local elections in every electoral district with its own candidates. He said that this decision was based on meetings with deputies, Central Executive Board (MYK) members and provincial chairpersons.

The two parties joined forces in the form of the People's Alliance for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, pushing forward an election system reform that paved the way for electoral alliances beforehand.

While the MHP urged its voters to support Erdoğan on the presidential ballot, the two parties put forward separate candidates for Parliament. The MHP also backed the switch to the presidential system proposed by Erdoğan and the AK Party, which was accepted in a referendum on April 16, 2017, with 51.4 percent of the votes.

Both Erdoğan and Bahçeli have been stressing that the People's Alliance was not simply formed to win elections and that its spirit must be protected in the face of threats posed against Turkey's national security.

Speaking at his party's weekly group meeting in Parliament, Bahçeli said yesterday that there have been some efforts to undermine the presidential governing system. He underscored that such ploys targeting the People's Alliance "would not be allowed."

Commenting on the People's Alliance, Erdoğan previously said that they see the People's Alliance as one of the most remarkable gains of the last few years and would like to make it last.

Meanwhile, as the political parties accelerated their efforts to determine their candidates in local elections, Erdoğan said yesterday that the AK Party might announce some of its candidates Saturday.

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