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Turkey: 13 parties to run in upcoming local polls

Supreme Election Council says 13 parties could meet necessary criteria to compete in March 31 polls

Turkey: 13 parties to run in upcoming local polls

By Ahmet Salih Alacaci


A total of 13 political parties will compete in Turkey’s forthcoming local elections scheduled for March 31, the country’s election authority announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Supreme Election Council said 13 parties could meet the necessary criteria to run on the ballot.

Turkish local polls are held every five years to elect mayors of 30 metropolitan municipalities and 51 provincial municipalities.

Ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are expected to support each other’s candidates in some districts and provinces, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Good (IYI) Party are expected to make same arrangement.

The AK Party has already announced its 74 candidates, while the CHP has announced 36 candidates, the MHP 34 candidates, and the IYI Party 15 candidates.

The AK Party has nominated Mehmet Ozhaseki, its deputy chairman and a former environment and urbanization minister, for mayor of capital Ankara in the upcoming election.

Former Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has been nominated by the AK Party for mayor of Izmir, while Binali Yildirim, current parliament speaker and former prime minister, will run for mayor of Istanbul.

The CHP, meanwhile, has nominated Ekrem Imamoglu for mayor of Istanbul and Mansur Yavas for Ankara mayor.

The official election process kicked off on Tuesday, with campaigning to begin on March 21.

Turkish local polls are held every five years along with metropolitan, provincial and district mayors, voters will also elect municipal council members in cities and -- in rural areas -- muhtars and members of elder councils.

The last local elections were held in March 30, 2014, which saw the AK Party clinch more than 45.5 percent of the vote.

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