CHP, İP disagreement grows amid opposition to alliance in certain districts

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 02.01.2019 23:51
Updated 03.01.2019 08:00

Disagreement between the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the right-wing Good Party (İP) continues to grow amid opposition to their local election alliance in certain districts.

The CHP's party organization in northern Turkey's Kocaeli protested the party administration's decision to back the İP candidate for the local elections.

Some party members in Kocaeli's Körfez district, wearing red vests, organized a sit-in protest in front of the CHP district office. They gathered after learning that the CHP would likely back the İP candidate in the district in the March 31 local elections. Members of the Körfez district youth branches, women branches and party organization participated in the protest.

"The CHP has never left Körfez district without a candidate. We decided to organize a sit-in protest and refuse to leave the premises in order to protect the honor of the party and its voter base," Tolga Papakçı, head of CHP's Körfez youth branches, told Anadolu Agency (AA) Tuesday.

Papakçı underscored that they want the alliance to back a CHP candidate from the district, where it would receive 22 percent of the votes, compared to the İP's 3.5 percent, according to recent surveys.

In relation to the issue, Figen Ergün, head of CHP's Körfez women branches said they were protesting over the party administration's persistence to nominate a İP candidate although there are two possible candidates from the CHP.

Pointing out that they were not opposing the alliance in principle, Papakçı said that the parties should gather under the roof of the one with the highest potential for votes. "If the party administration continues to insist on its decision, we will continue our protest in front of the CHP building," he said.

Last month, a disagreement between the CHP administration and the party organization spilled over to northwestern Balıkesir province, after many media outlets reported that the candidacy of Ahmet Akın will be withdrawn in support of İP candidate İsmail Ok.

The CHP Balıkesir provincial head, Serkan Sarı, and other members of the provincial party organizations protested the decision in front of the CHP office in Balıkesir.

Amid the disputes, the two parties met yesterday to discuss possible cooperation strategies in the remaining province and district municipalities. Reportedly, the CHP and İP will cooperate in 16 more provincial municipalities, in addition to 21 metropolitan municipalities.

Turkish media outlets reported yesterday that the alliance agreed on naming CHP candidates in eight provincial municipalities, including Edirne, Kırklareli, Yalova, Çanakkale, Zonguldak, Giresun, Burdur and Sinop, while the İP will reportedly field its own candidates in Kırıkkale, Isparta, Düzce, Nevşehir and Osmaniye.

The CHP will not present candidates in Haymana, Şereflikoçhisar, Evren, Akyurt, Çamlıdere, Çubuk, Kahramankazan, Pursaklar, Beypazarı and Nallıhan districts of Ankara and the Kiraz, Torbalı and Tire districts of İzmir in support of the İP candidates.

As the alliance talks progress, parties began to mull over possible candidates for the determined municipalities in line with the alliance negotiations. The names of Tuncay Özkan, CHP İzmir Deputy; Abdül Batur, mayor of İzmir's Narlıdere district since 1999, and Kamil Okyay Sındır, CHP İzmir Deputy comes to the front for a mayoral candidate in İzmir. Also, Mustafa Bozbey, the Nilüfer district mayor, is being regarded as the most prominent name for the Bursa mayoral candidacy.

The two parties have signaled that they will continue with the Nation Alliance, formed between the conservative Felicity Party (SP) and center-right Democrat Party (DP), for the June 24 parliamentary elections, in order to appeal to the other parties' voter bases in the elections.

The Nation Alliance formed by the CHP, the İP, SP and the DP suffered a defeat in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, receiving 33.9 percent of the votes.

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