AK Party's local election campaign to be coordinated from single center

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 09.12.2018 23:52
Updated 10.12.2018 08:00

The Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) different administrations have reportedly advised their provincial heads to coordinate the election campaigns from a single center.

According to a report in the Sabah newspaper, the ruling party's provincial and district organizations expressed this sentiment in a closed meeting on Friday after the party's extended provincial heads met.

The party's administrations agreed that preparations for the upcoming local elections in March will be overseen in a single center.

Activities such as rallies and publicity meetings can be organized by the local party organizations. However, mayors, mayor candidates and party deputies will be not allowed to organize such events on their own without informing the party's provincial administrations.

The party will also employ an eco-friendly campaign in the upcoming elections, putting behind traditional methods which were criticized by many for visual and noise pollution, which included a large amount of flags on the streets, posters on the walls and vehicles with loud speakers playing election songs.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the AK Party's chairman, announced the decision to essentially "go green" last week.

"We will only display banners in the party centers and election coordination centers of the party. Minivans playing campaign songs will be only allowed to drive around in specific times. They will not play the songs at night," Erdoğan said on Saturday in Istanbul.

Stressing that he believes that voters all around the country, notably in Istanbul, will prefer AK Party's mayoral services in the upcoming elections, Erdoğan called election districts whose mayors are not currently from the AK Party to embrace his party's distinguished mayoral services.

"We reviewed the services, investments, and works both in Istanbul and in other 80 provinces from the mayors' perspectives. We identified the shortcomings in these places and informed our mayors and related authorities to resolve the issues," Erdoğan added.

Alliance talks with MHP near completion

Meanwhile, the final shape of alliance negotiations between the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has started to become clear. The AK Party has not announced its candidates for six provincial municipalities and these election districts are expected to be the main agenda of topics in the alliance talks.

While the AK Party is expected to make a gesture for the MHP in the Aydın, Muğla, Adana, Mersin, Manisa, Osmaniye election districts and in provinces where the MHP won in 2014 local elections, the MHP may withdraw its Adana and Aydın mayor candidates.

However, a definite decision on Adana, Mersin, and Aydın reportedly will be made in a meeting between Erdoğan and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli. Negotiations talks also expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Bahçeli previously announced that the MHP won't nominate mayor candidates in Turkey's largest cities of Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, but will instead support candidates of the AK Party. In a bid to further strengthen the alliance, the MHP also decided on Friday to withdraw the nominations of its Denizli mayoral candidate Ebru Leman and Erzurum mayoral candidate Serdar Sevimli.

The People's Alliance between the MHP and the AK Party was formed ahead of the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections. The alliance received a majority in Parliament, while their presidential candidate, the incumbent president, also won the election by 52.6 percent of the votes. As both parties consider the results of the June 24 elections as successful, they now seek to continue their alliance in the local elections.

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