The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has disclosed its election campaign motto - "We came to win hearts, bring happiness" - in the party's 10-articles manifesto ahead of the election campaign that is expected to begin on Feb. 1 for the local elections slated for March 31.
This approach initially gained ground in the 2009 and 2014 local elections as the AK Party focused on the winning hearts of the people and improving public services. The manifesto includes detailed statements on green policies, urban management and social media use during the campaign period.
In the Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting held on Monday at party headquarters, the AK Party's local election campaign and election manifesto were discussed.
According to the draft, several topics from animal protection laws to the tender system will be included in the manifesto and "new values for cities" and projects will gain ground in provincial constitutions promulgated for 81 provinces.
As part of its election campaign, the statements will focus on transparent municipalities and the intense work on the e-municipality initiatives, while personalized and parcel-based zoning plans will be excluded.
Throughout the campaign, the party will focus on three stages: livability, safety and value-generation. The manifesto will also include statements on increase of landscaping and environmental regulations as well as averting vertical architecture.
In line with the party's green policies, the zero waste campaign launched by first lady Emine Erdoğan under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency, will also be in the manifesto while the importance of recycling, conservation of natural resources, and the fight against air pollution will also be highlighted.
In the AK Party's election campaign, social media and other mediums will take the place of traditional campaign methods. While the party will concentrate more on effectively using the Internet and social media to attract more voters, social media training for the seven regions will be completed and a general information guide will be prepared for all organization managers and party members to efficiently share tweets and messages.
The party will finalize all of its candidates on Jan. 27 in Antalya presided over by AK Party Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Following the program, AK Party mayoral candidates and party organizations will meet on Jan. 31 at Ankara Sports Hall to declare the election manifesto and promises. Following the declaration of the election manifesto, the AK Party will start its election campaign on Feb. 1 and will continue campaigning for 60 days.
Meanwhile, the AK Party also plans to hold a series of election rallies in 52 provinces. According to the draft meeting plan, the public rallies will begin on Feb. 15-16.
First, the party will prioritize provinces where it fielded mayoral candidates, while President Erdoğan is expected to attend rallies held by its People's Alliance partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The People's Alliance between the MHP and the AK Party was formed ahead of the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections. The alliance received a majority in Parliament, while their presidential candidate, Erdoğan, won the election by 52.6 percent of the votes. As both parties consider the results of the June 24 elections successful, they now seek to continue their alliance in the local elections.