The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its People's Alliance partner the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have started preparations for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) elections rerun scheduled for June 23.
The AK Party Chairman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reportedly gave the go-ahead during the party's Central Executive Committee (MYK) meeting. Expressing his content over the Supreme Election Council (YSK) decision to renew the elections, Erdoğan reportedly said that everyone in the party should leave all the resentments behind and work hard toward June 23.
During the course of the election, AK Party Election Coordination Center will be led by the party deputy chairman, Ali İhsan Yavuz, who also conducted the party's affairs during the YSK's decision-making process in the aftermath of the March 31 local polls.
It was also reported that until the end of May, all AK Party deputy chairmen and deputies from eastern and southeastern provinces will conduct fieldwork in Istanbul. After the Ramazan Bayram, all the deputies are expected to be active in Istanbul. Erdoğan is also expected to hold several rallies around Istanbul in the meantime. The MHP, on the other hand, is planning to some intense activity in Istanbul until the elections. The chairman of the party, Devlet Bahçeli is expected to hold a meeting at the MHP headquarters with the 15 provincial heads. These provinces are reportedly determined among the ones which give migration to Istanbul the most in order to convince people through their relatives from their hometowns. The provinces are Sivas, Kastamonu, Ordu, Giresun, Tokat, Samsun, Erzurum, Malatya, Trabzon, Sinop, Erzincan, Rize, Kars, Ardahan and Mardin.
Bahçeli is also scheduled to have an iftar dinner with the MHP's Istanbul provincial organization on Saturday. It will be the starting point of the party's election campaign in Istanbul.
The People's Alliance, between the MHP and the AK Party, was formed ahead of the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections. The alliance won a majority in Parliament, while their presidential candidate, Erdoğan, also won the election by receiving 52.6 percent of the votes. Since both parties consider the results of the June 24 elections as successful, they continued their alliance in the local elections as well.