The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party have agreed to cooperate in 21 metropolitan municipalities for the upcoming local elections, after 29 days of negotiation talks.
“As you may know, the challenges of cooperation are as clear as day. Our agenda consists only of Turkey. Turkey must keep up with contemporary civilization. Thus, we have worked for the welfare of Turkey without letting any personal engagements intrude,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a joint press briefing he held with İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener after their meeting late Dec. 12.
After a host of disagreements, the two sides finally agreed to endorse İYİ Party’s candidate for the western province of Balıkesir and the CHP’s candidate for the capital Ankara, municipalities which have caused tension in previous meetings.
The meetings on candidates for several districts are expected to continue. But if the sides fail to cooperate, each will propose its own candidate.
In the southern province of Mersin, both parties will go to the polls with their own mayoral candidates. They had earlier announced that the mayoral candidates of İYİ Party for Mersin, the eastern province of Erzurum and the Black Sea province of Ordu would be excluded from the alliance.
The names of the candidates were not specified in the meetings, sources told daily Hürriyet.
According to the agreement, the provinces where the CHP will present candidates are Ankara, Istanbul, the Aegean province of İzmir, southern province of Antalya, Aegean province of Aydın, southwestern province of Muğla, northwestern provnice of Tekirdağ, southern border province of Hatay, western provinces of Eskişehir and Bursa and the southern Adana.
The provinces where İYİ Party will present candidates are Balıkesir, the western provinces of Kocaeli, Denizli and Manisa, the Central Anatolian province of Konya, the Black Sea provinces of Samsun and Trabzon, the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, western province of Sakarya and southeastern province of Gaziantep.
Tension rose in the alliance talks between the CHP and İYİ Party when both parties disagreed on having Mansur Yavaş run as mayor for Ankara Metropolitan Municipality on the İYİ Party ticket. Akşener reportedly suggested the CHP should withdraw its candidate for Balıkesir in return for supporting the CHP in Ankara.