The main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) dispute with the Democratic Left Party (DSP) increases as the former accuses the latter of dividing the votes by dispossessing some CHP members by showing them as municipal candidates in the local elections.
Reportedly, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the DSP on Tuesday during his party's Central Executive Board meeting, saying that the party "does not serve the future of Turkey."
Kılıçdaroğlu's statement came following DSP Chairman Önder Aksakal's words, claiming that those who were "sincere in politics" preferred to join the DSP instead of the CHP.
Despite addressing similar voter bases as both are leftist parties, the CHP and the DSP have been critical of one another for quite some time, both blaming each other for "letting the AK Party [ruling Justice and Development Party] win elections." During the process of determining municipal candidates, a number of candidates who were turned down by the CHP have announced that they would run under the DSP banner, fueling the dispute. Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu decided to increase the number of rallies he will hold during his election campaign from 20 to 32. Seven of these rallies will take place in Istanbul, while a third of them will be in Ankara. Kılıçdaroğlu will also conduct three joint rallies with the leader of the Good Party (İP), his ally in local elections, Meral Akşener. The rallies will take place in Balıkesir, Denizli and Aydın where the two leaders will ask people to vote for the Nation Alliance.
After disappointing results in the June 24 election, the CHP and the İP have been seeking to heal their wounds by getting a satisfying result in metropolitan municipalities and cities in local elections through an alliance. Instead, concessions made for the alliance have prompted unrest in local party organizations, once again unearthing old discussions and dissident debates in the aftermath of the June 24 elections, which eventually led parties to be left behind in launching their campaigning process.
While the CHP and the İP struggle with intraparty discussions, the alliance formed by the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) ramped up preparations for joint election campaigns. Both parties previously declared that they would hold joint rallies in Adana and in the three largest cities, Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir.
The AK Party has been intensifying preparation for the March 31 local elections since the finalization of its candidate determination process on Jan. 27. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the chairman of the party, has been traveling to numerous cities as a part of the election campaign and organizing rallies. So far, Erdoğan has held 19 election rallies, excluding those in districts, while five other rallies are scheduled and many others are expected in at least 50 provinces.