Leading dissident figure from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Muharrem İnce yesterday said he would run for mayor in Istanbul in the March 2019 local elections only if he is nominated through an intraparty survey.
"Muharrem İnce does not have the worry of holding onto a post for himself; he has a worry for Turkey. If we put a polling box in front of 250,000, then I am a candidate. However, if they say ‘come be a candidate' then I am definitely not a candidate," İnce said, referring to an intraparty tendency survey among party delegates, following his meeting with party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at the party's headquarters.
İnce, who was the party's presidential candidate for the June 24 presidential elections, has also been mentioned among the CHP's possible candidates for mayor in Istanbul. He received nearly 10 percent more votes in the presidential race at 30.6 percent, compared to his party's success in Parliament, which was 22.6 percent.
İnce previously challenged Kılıçdaroğlu, whom he sees as responsible for repeated election failures, in a race for chairmanship; however, he failed at every attempt. The CHP has suffered nine successive election defeats under the leadership of Kılıçdaroğlu, who has led the party since 2011. İnce is currently not a lawmaker in Parliament as he ran for president on June 24.In addition to İnce, several other CHP figures have also expressed their intention to run for Istanbul mayor.