The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will announce on Saturday its long-awaited list of candidates for the upcoming municipal elections.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will announce the 40 candidates for different districts and provinces, including the country's culture and commercial capital Istanbul, capital Ankara and the western Izmir province, at an event in Istanbul at 2 p.m. local time.The results of an intraparty tendency survey for the elections were submitted to Erdoğan shortly after AK Party delegates completed voting Sunday.
Some 127,148 delegates from 81 provinces voted in the online survey, which was used for the first time. Around 90.33 percent of all the delegates participated in the survey. The highest participation of delegates was witnessed in Istanbul - at 98 percent.
Previously, tendency surveys would typically take about two weeks. In comparison, the electronic version was completed in just seven hours and the findings were presented to the party chairman the same day.
A person cannot vote on behalf of another person in tendency surveys through the system and there is also no breach of privacy since the system is customized for districts, and not dependent upon individuals. The results could only be viewed by Erdoğan. The system then "self-destructs," getting rid of the information collected through the surveys to protect the privacy of the participants.
While the AK Party will announce the party's candidates from the majority of the municipal candidates, the party is also in talks of an alliance with the National Movement Party (MHP). The two parties joined forces in the form of the People's Alliance for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections. They will reportedly announce joint candidates in specific provinces to minimize risks of losing against other opposition parties.
Erdoğan and the MHP Chairman met on Wednesday to discuss the details, yet no concrete announcement has yet been made. However, another meeting will be held between the two leaders, AK Party spokesperson Ömer Çelik said at a press conference following the latest Erdoğan-Bahçeli meeting.Local elections are set to be held across Turkey on March 31, 2019. The election calendar, being prepared by the Supreme Election Council (YSK), will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The AK Party's election campaign, however, is expected to start in January 2019.