Alliance blocs to shape local elections for first time

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 11.03.2019 00:02

For the first time ever, Turkey will witness an electoral competition between two major blocs that consist of comprehensive alliances, supporting each other in provinces and districts throughout the country.

Come March 31, numerous candidates will run for mayoral offices in 30 metropolitan cities, 51 provinces, 922 districts and 386 towns while voters will also go to the polls to elect 17,263 members of city councils in the upcoming elections.

The People's Alliance, formed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has the most extensive cooperation.

The AK Party fielded its own candidates in 74 provinces and 830 districts and handed its support to the MHP in 92 districts including Istanbul's Beşiktaş, Maltepe and Silivri in addition to Ankara's Etimesgut, Gölbaşı and Polatlı.

The MHP presented its mayoral candidates in 37 provinces and 445 districts, leaving 44 election districts, especially the biggest metropolitan cities and most of their districts, Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir, in the hands o

f its close ally. On the other hand, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) will enter the elections in 57 provinces and 621 districts, while the far-right Good Party (İP) nominated its candidates in 42 provinces and 418 districts. As the İP decided nominate mayors in Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir and many other provinces, the CHP will support the İP in 23 provinces and some of the districts of metropolitan cities. Accordingly, some election districts where the CHP did not nominate candidates include Denizli, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Konya, Şanlıurfa, Manisa, Ankara's Altındağ, Keçiören and Istanbul's Bağcılar and Esenler. The candidate lists also revealed that the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is an unofficial partner party in the alliance between the CHP and İP. The HDP chose to field its candidates only in 30 provinces and 162 districts, withdrawing in other election districts including Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir, in favor of the Nation Alliance.

Ahead of the June 24 elections, the AK Party first joined forces with the MHP and formed the People's Alliance. It was followed by the CHP, who decided to join forces with İP, the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) to form the Nation Alliance. In the last elections, the People's Alliance won 340 seats in Parliament, with 290 won by the AK Party and 50 by the MHP, while their presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, also won with 52.6 percent of the vote.

Since the parties consider the results of the June 24 elections as more beneficial to them instead of entering the elections alone, they now seek to continue their alliance in the upcoming local elections.

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