The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) aims to win the mayoralties of seven key big city metropolitan areas in the upcoming local elections in 2019, party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had said, stating that the party works on the strategies for campaigns.
“In the upcoming local elections, we will win in Ankara, Istanbul, Balıkesir, Adana, Antalya, Mersin and Denizli,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Aug. 21 at his party’s training class in Ankara.
The CHP currently leads the municipalities of six metropolitan cities – İzmir, Eskişehir, Muğla, Aydın, Hatay and Tekirdağ.
The mayoralties of Ankara, Istanbul, Balıkesir, Antalya and Denizli are controlled by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), while the mayors of Mersin and Adana are from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
“We are defining our strategies and putting in additional effort to win Bursa,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to one of the cities where the ruling AKP is particularly strongest.
“If we can solve the problem in Bursa’s İnegöl district, we will take the city,” he added.
Turkey will hold three elections in 2019. The local elections, expected in March 2019, will be held before presidential and parliamentary elections. The latter will be critical because the systemic shift to an executive presidency, stipulated by the constitutional amendment narrowly approved in the April 2016 referendum, will go into effect after the next presidential election.
Parties are currently preparing for the upcoming election period and Kılıçdaroğlu stressed the importance of “new strategies” for the CHP.
“The CHP knows the problems of Turkey and we have the solutions. We are prepared to solve the problems but we have not been ready to put our trust in people. We must put trust in people,” he said.
“People do not want tall tales and fables. We must instead tell them practically about how we will achieve what we want,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
He also instructed local party officials of the cities where the CHP does not hold the mayoralty, to “designate candidates that local people trust and start the process as early as possible.”