Erdogan wins support of ally in three big cities for local vote

By: |
November 24, 2018 4:46 PM

A key ally of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his nationalist party won’t field candidates for mayors in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara in support of the ruling AK Party in local elections scheduled for March.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, turkey president, istanbul, ankara, turkey local electionsThe latest decision was taken for the sake of Turkish stability and without any “secret bargaining,” Bahceli said, in reference to his grievances over Erdogan’s refusal to heed his party’s calls for an amnesty for tens of thousands of prisoners. (Reuters)

A key ally of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his nationalist party won’t field candidates for mayors in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara in support of the ruling AK Party in local elections scheduled for March. “We will fully support whoever AK Party’s candidates are in those three big cities,” MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said in Antalya on Saturday. The MHP will field its own candidates in the rest of the country, he said.

Bahceli’s support is critical for Erdogan’s party, which is struggling to extend its record of victories in Istanbul and Ankara local elections that began in 1994. Bahceli a month ago said the partnership wouldn’t hold for the local vote, which raised prospects of renewed political turbulence that could threaten a nascent recovery in the nation’s assets. Bahceli changed his mind after a meeting with Erdogan earlier this week.

The latest decision was taken for the sake of Turkish stability and without any “secret bargaining,” Bahceli said, in reference to his grievances over Erdogan’s refusal to heed his party’s calls for an amnesty for tens of thousands of prisoners.

Erdogan is expected on Saturday to reveal dozens of candidates for his party in the upcoming elections, but may delay the announcement of candidates in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir until his address to AKP in parliament on Tuesday, Turkish media reported.

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