As the Republican People's Party (CHP) is expected to conclude determining candidates this week for the local elections scheduled for March 31, the party's low number of women candidates has been drawing attention, contradicting the previous remarks of party officials to boost the role of women in politics.
The CHP announced its 630 mayoral candidates, yet the small number of female candidates has indicated that the party has failed to uphold its words. Party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu previously stressed that the CHP would like to increase its number of female mayors. The CHP is expected to determine almost all of its candidates, other than in some districts of Istanbul, on Jan. 16 following a meeting of the party assembly.
"We need to increase the number of women mayors. The successful mayors will remain in their posts," Kılıçdaroğlu said on the weekend.
While the candidates for various municipalities, including in the CHP stronghold and Turkey's third-most-populous province İzmir, will be determined this week, districts of Istanbul will be determined by the end of January.
As a result of the first five meetings, the CHP revealed its mayoral candidates for 15 metropolitan cities, 28 provinces, 437 districts and 150 towns, including a total of 630 mayoral candidates. In line with the cooperation of the right-wing Good Party (İP), the CHP previously announced joint mayoral candidates for the capital Ankara, Turkey's cultural and commercial center Istanbul, the southern holiday resort province of Antalya and the Adana municipality.
Meanwhile, the CHP is expected to nominate one or two female candidates in Istanbul and İzmir to try and stay true to its promises.
In the June 24 presidential elections, the main opposition scored below the parliamentary average of the women representation percentage. The number of women deputies in the CHP decreased compared to the previous term. The CHP had just 18 woman deputies out of 147.