IP, CHP alliance efforts for March 2019 come to an end

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

The right-wing Good Party (İP) and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) have reportedly finalized negotiations on cooperation in the March 31 local elections.

A comprehensive report was prepared by CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Tezcan following the end of the negotiations over the weekend and submitted it to party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The report included thorough analyses for 51 provinces where the cooperation of the two parties is possible. It also underscored that as a part of election strategy, one of the parties should not nominate their own candidates in election districts, where the other one has already fielded its candidates.

Accordingly, Kılıçdaroğlu discussed the report with his party's board meeting held yesterday. He is also expected to meet with İP Chairwoman Meral Akşener in this week.

The two parties have been signaling that they will continue the Nation Alliance formed with the conservative Felicity Party (SP) and center-right Democrat Party (DP) in the June 24 parliamentary elections, in order to appeal to the other parties' voter bases in the elections.

The CHP previously announced its 252 mayoral candidates for some election districts including 10 provincial municipalities, while candidates for metropolitan cities have yet to be determined due to the long negotiations on collaboration in elections with other opposition parties.

The CHP has been eyeing two big metropolitan cities, namely Istanbul and Ankara, for some time now. Mansur Yavaş, a former member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), is likely to be the joint candidate of the CHP and İP for the Ankara mayor's office, following his remarks that he is "waiting for the two party leaders to compromise."

For the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the names of the party's Secretary General, Akif Hamzaçebi, the former Istanbul provincial head of the CHP Gürsel Tekin, the mayor of Istanbul's Beylikdüzü district, Ekrem İmamoğlu and notably, the presidential candidate of the party in the June 24 elections, Muharrem İnce, have been circulating in the media as possible candidates.

According to Hürriyet daily, İmamoğlu is the most prominent name that the CHP is looking at as he is considered capable of attracting conservative votes in the city.

"He is a very successful mayor. But, the party assembly will decide who will be the candidate, therefore, it is not appropriate for me to comment on the matter," Faik Öztrak, the party spokesman, said yesterday in a press briefing.

İmamoğlu also told a reporter from the Posta newspaper that he is not focused on competing in principle, but he is instead focused on serving the people in line with the citizens' needs and expectations.

Previously, Kılıçdaroğlu expressed his appreciation for İmamoğlu, saying he was a very successful mayor.

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