Turkish President Erdoğan names ruling party’s mayor nominees for Kocaeli

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced the names of mayoral candidates for the western province of Kocaeli, as the countdown for the country’s local elections began.

“Our party will work even harder and, God willing, we will win all district of Kocaeli,” Erdoğan said in a ceremony on Jan. 12.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) nominees for each district in Kocaeli ahead of the March 31 local elections were announced in the ceremony. Tahir Büyükakın was previously named as the metropolitan mayor nominee to replace the incumbent mayor, İbrahim Karaosmanoğlu.

During his speech, Erdoğan urged his party organization to register all voters, before slamming the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had declared they will support each other’s candidates in some districts and provinces throughout Turkey, while the CHP and the Good (IYI) Party are expected to make same arrangement.

AKP has nominated Mehmet Özhaseki, its deputy chairman and a former environment and urbanization minister, for mayor of capital Ankara in the upcoming election.

Meanwhile, Binali Yıldırım, current parliament speaker and former prime minister, will run for mayor of Istanbul for AKP.

CHP has nominated Ekrem İmamoğlu for mayor of Istanbul and Mansur Yavaş for Ankara mayor.

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

Along with metropolitan, provincial and district mayors, voters will also elect municipal council members in cities and — in rural areas — mukhtars and members of elder councils.

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

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