CHP signals allying with other opposition parties along with İP

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) hinted that they may cooperate with other opposition parties along with the right-wing Good Party (İP) for the March 31 local elections amid long negotiations to carve out election strategies.

"Not only the İP, but everyone outside of the People's Alliance and those who are excluded by this alliance are welcomed to be our alliance partners," Özgür Özel, group vice chairman of the party told reporters late Wednesday, signaling possible cooperation with other opposition parties.

Pointing out that they are striving to attract votes of all citizens, Özel underscored that they will ally with the hearts of the people on ballots by fielding candidates who can serve everyone equally.

The Central Executive Board (MYK) and party assembly of the CHP also gathered yesterday amid the ongoing alliance talks with the İP. Following the meetings, the party announced 212 mayoral candidates for the upcoming elections, including mayoral candidates for 18 metropolitan and province municipalities. Incumbent metropolitan mayors will be nominated in Aydın, Eskişehir, Hatay, Muğla and Tekirdağ provinces. Sinop was the only provincial municipality where the party opted to nominate a new name.

Out of the 212 municipalities, 54 were won by the CHP in 2014 local elections. While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has largely renewed its candidates ahead of the elections, the CHP maintained most of its incumbent mayors, announcing new names in only 13 municipalities.

The CHP previously announced its 252 mayoral candidates for some election districts, including 10 provincial municipalities; however, candidates for many metropolitan cities have yet to be determined due to the long negotiations of alliances.

In relation to the alliance talks, Özel stated that negotiations are still ongoing and there may be some extraordinary situations which will be announced at the end of the talks.

CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and İP Chairwoman Meral Akşener and party delegations have been meeting for some time now signaling the continuation of the bloc formed for the June 24 elections against the People's Alliance of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

However, the talks have been stalled for some time now due to Kılıçdaroğlu's visits abroad and alleged problems in the alliance.

In relation to the delayed negotiations, İP Chairwomen Meral Akşener also highlighted on Wednesday that the talks will be completed very soon and added, "I said very clearly that [the negotiations] should not exceed 15 days as everyone will move on, one way or another."

Akşener stressed that she only knows the outlines of the election strategies determined and the alliance discussions are mainly focused on metropolitan municipalities where the population voted "no" in the constitutional referendum on April 16, 2017.

İP may enter elections without an alliance

Commenting on recent media reports claiming that the alliance is going through a crisis, Akşener indicated that the İP did not announce such a thing; yet, pointed out that the party is used to difficult situations and has no problem in entering the elections without an alliance.

Touching on the Ankara provincial mayor candidate, Akşener underlined that the İP is not persistent in monopolizing Ankara and the party is not fighting with the CHP.

Meanwhile, media outlets reported yesterday that Akşener and her party offered Mansur Yavaş, whose name has been pointed out as the Ankara joint mayoral candidate of both parties for some time now, to be a separate candidate of the İP. However, Yavaş rejected the offer and insisted on the joint candidacy.

In response to the allegations, Yavaş denied the claim yesterday. "We failed to drive a wedge between Yavaş and the CHP. Let this false news create a rift with the İP, at least. This information pollution and dirty games require two clean parties to win the capital," Yavaş tweeted yesterday on his official Twitter account.

Speaking to Sözcü newspaper, Yavaş also indicated that he is determined to be a joint candidate of the two parties, if they form an alliance in the upcoming elections. However, he underscored that the negotiation process had been too prolonged and it hurt both him and the parties.

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