By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
In Turkey’s March 31 local elections, the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has decided not to field any candidates for three of Turkey's largest cities.
"We have decided against nominating any candidate for the Istanbul, Adana, and Izmir metropolitan municipalities," Hakki Suha Oruc, HDP spokesman, said on Monday.
"We are not doing this on behalf of this or that party. We are doing this for the struggle for democracy," he added.
Istanbul alone contains nearly one-fifth of Turkey’s total population of 80 million.
A total of 13 political parties will compete
Turkish local polls are held every five years to elect mayors of 1,398 municipalities across the country. Among them are 30 municipalities in 81 provinces and 921 district municipalities.
Voters will also elect municipal council members in cities
Campaigning will end on the evening of March 30, a day before the election.
The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) agreed to support each other’s candidates in some districts and provinces, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Good (
The last local elections, in March 2014, saw the AK Party clinch more than 45.5 percent of the vote.
Turkey’s last elections, for president and parliament, were held last June.