The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Sunday announced 152 more candidates for 12 province mayors and 140 district mayors for the local elections scheduled for March 31, 2019.
Prior to the publication of the list, Sadir Durmaz, the vice chairman of the MHP said the party had substantially determined 51 provincial and county mayor candidates and shared them with the public.
The candidates of 12 provinces were listed as follows: Fatih Çetinkaya in Afyonkarahisar, Sefer Alkan in Aksaray, Mehmet Sarı in Amasya, Hakim Pekmezci in Bayburt, Akın Atakan in Bilecik, Mehmet Ziya Buyankara in Bingöl, Mehmet Yılmaz in Bitlis, Recep Kozan in Edirne, Sabri Üre in Gümüşhane, İsa Yaşar Tezel in Iğdır, Murat Aslanhan in Yalova and Mehmet Erdemir in Yozgat.
While the MHP continues to announce its candidates for the March 31 local elections, the party is also holding talks on an alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The two parties joined forces in the form of the People's Alliance for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, and they will reportedly announce joint candidates in specific provinces to minimize the risks of losing against other opposition parties.
Following the decision to continue the People's Alliance, MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli announced that the party will not nominate candidates in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir with the intention of supporting the candidates of the AK Party.
Previously, AK Party Deputy Chairman Mahir Ünal said on Dec. 2 that the talks on continuing an alliance with the MHP for the upcoming local elections are moving positively, adding that they are expected to be finalized in two weeks' time.
Since then, Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım has been weighed as the most probable figure to run for Istanbul metropolitan mayor in the upcoming local elections.
"The important thing is to work for the welfare of the country. From now on, regardless of our position, we consider serving for our country a sacred duty," Yıldırım told journalists accompanying him on his way back from Iran.
Commenting on the possible candidacy of Yıldırım, Bahçeli said yesterday that if he becomes a candidate he would not need to resign from his current position. "He is most welcome if he becomes a nominee," Bahçeli said.