The Central Executive Board (MYK) of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) convened yesterday to discuss the possible mayoral candidates for three of the country's largest provinces - Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, for the upcoming local elections.
The party, however, made no announcements in the press conference after the MYK meeting.
Speaking at the press conference party Deputy Chairman Oğuz Kaan Salıcı said that they "will finalize this process [determination of candidates] while satisfying all circles."
According to media reports, Cengiz Topel Yıldırım, the former president of Ankaragücü football club, is a step ahead for the Ankara mayor's post. Yıldırım is said to be well placed within the party base since he is not involved in any divisive discussions. The party base reportedly does not support former mayor of Ankara's Beypazarı district, Mansur Yavaş for the mayor's office, instead, they support Yıldırım. Even though Yavaş has CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's backing, the party base pointed at Yıldırım's ability to appeal to other parties' voter bases and his strong ties with different masses due to his former presidency of a football club.
Meanwhile, the crisis in alliance talks, between the CHP and the far-right Good Party (İP), ahead of the upcoming local elections is reportedly growing, exposing the fact that the two parties still cannot compromise on ideal candidates for the upcoming municipal elections. Commenting on the issue, Salıcı said that even though there are ups and downs in the alliance talks with İP, negotiations are still continuing with good intent.
İP Chairwoman Meral Akşener and CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu are expected to meet today. The candidate for Ankara and alliance negotiations between the CHP and İP are expected to be clarified in this meeting.
"The alliance in the ballot box, will not be speaking at the table, the negotiations at the table should be valid on the street," Salıcı said in reply to a question on whether there is any intraparty discussion on presenting, Yavaş as the likely CHP and İP joint candidate in Ankara. However, when Kılıçdaroğlu met Yavaş on Monday at CHP headquarters to convey the formula agreed on by the two parties, Yavaş reportedly gave a negative answer to the offer of being the İP candidate, since he wants to be a joint candidate of the two parties.
Meanwhile, the CHP will support the candidate of the İP in four provinces, including Ankara, and the İP will support the CHP in six provinces in exchange, reportedly.
Accordingly, the alliance is expected to be shaped like this - in Istanbul, Adana, and Antalya, the İP will support the CHP; In Balıkesir, a joint candidate will be presented; Samsun, Trabzon, and Manisa will be left to the İP, while the party will support the CHP in Hatay, Eskişehir and Tekirdağ.