AK Party to back MHP in 6 provinces on March 31

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 15.12.2018 02:10
Updated 15.12.2018 09:54

As part of the People's Alliance, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will support the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in six key provinces in the local elections, according to media reports.

The decision was made during a face-to-face meeting between AK Party chairman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli on Wednesday.

The two leaders discussed in detail the continuation of the People's Alliance in the upcoming elections. The alliance was initially formed ahead of the parliamentary and presidential polls on June 24.

According to the agreement, the AK Party will reportedly back MHP and its candidates in six provinces - predominantly in western and southern Turkey, including Adana, Aydın, Manisa, Mersin, Muğla and Osmaniye. The principle of this collaboration will be preserving the current administrations that had taken office in the last local elections.

According to sources speaking to Daily Sabah, the AK Party will not nominate a mayoral candidate in Adana, one of the largest provinces of southern Turkey, but will instead support the MHP candidate.

Likewise, several district mayoral posts in Turkey's largest provinces of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are expected to be given to the MHP.

Media reports added that a decision on western Muğla and Aydın provinces, where the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has a strong presence, was yet to be made.

Apart from these six provinces, the eastern provinces of Iğdır and Kars were also reportedly discussed during Wednesday's meeting but no decision was made.

Members from both parties engaged in bilateral talks will continue negotiations on the political alliance and all the issues are expected to be resolved before the end of the year.

In the June 24 elections, the MHP supported AK Party's presidential candidate, Erdoğan, who claimed victory with more than 52.6 percent of the vote. In the parliament elections, the two parties' received 53.7 percent of the votes, surpassing the 33.9 percent of votes cast for the Nation Alliance, formed between the main opposition CHP, the far-right Good Party (İP), the conservative Felicity Party (SP), and the Democratic Party (DP).

Following the decision to continue the People's Alliance, Bahçeli announced that the party will not nominate candidates in Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, but back the AK Party candidates instead.

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