CHP in search of alliance with İP, SP before local elections

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 26.11.2018 23:51
Updated 27.11.2018 00:17

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has intensified efforts to form a possible alliance for the March 2019 local elections with parties that were part of the previous Nation Alliance.

CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and conservative Felicity Party (SP) Chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu met yesterday.

Regarding the issue, Karamollaoğlu yesterday told the press after the meeting that the SP will enter the elections in every polling district, however, the party will be in close contact with the CHP in certain provinces for a possible collaboration.

Karamollaoğlu stressed that the divergences of the political parties are indications of strength; however the grassroots of the CHP had voiced criticism on the alliance's pursuit to appeal to the right-wing majority. Regarding the issue, Karamollaoğlu said last Thursday that the SP will be in close contact with the CHP for the local elections.

While the CHP has ramped up its efforts to form an alliance for the local elections with parties from opposite sides of the political spectrum, including the right-wing Good Party (İP), the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the SP. However, according to pundits, an alliance based solely on the common ground of going against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will not be enough to create a uniting force to meld the voter base in the same pot.

The alliance search and discourse to appeal to the right-wing majority has also drawn criticism within the grassroots of the CHP.

At a workshop camp in western Turkey's Bolu in September, the CHP administration had prepared a report which defined the alliance with SP in the June 24 presidential and parliamentarian elections as groundbreaking, and advised changing some of CHP's traditional rhetoric.

After the report sparked criticism among the party organization, the CHP administration refined the statement that praised the alliance with the SP, saying future alliances should develop the party's relations with all parts of society.

The Nation Alliance between the CHP, the SP, the right-wing İP and the center-right Democrat Party (DP) was formed ahead of the June 24 elections.

Even though the alliance received 33.9 percent of the votes and suffered a massive defeat, the parties in the alliance gave a green light to continue the alliance in order to appeal to the other parties' voter bases in the local elections.

Last week, along with the parties' delegations, Kılıçdaroğlu and İP Chairwoman Meral Akşener met and agreed in principle to collaborate directly with the voter base instead of officially forming an alliance.

The two parties indeed drive a hard bargain over the 17 metropolitan municipalities including Turkey's largest provinces Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir and cities that voted against the constitutional referendum held in 2017, the campaign was advocated by the CHP, the İP and several other minor parties.

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