AKP-MHP to continue alliance in 2019’s local elections

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President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) shakes hands with Leader of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli (L) as they pose for a photo in Ankara, Turkey on February 18, 2018. Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency KAYHAN

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have agreed to continue an alliance they made for general and presidential elections held on June 24 in next year’s local elections as well, according to an AKP official.

Mehmet Özhasaki, who is responsible for the AKP’s local administrations, said in a statement following a meeting between a group of AKP and MHP officials on Tuesday that the parties would remain loyal to their election alliance.

The details of the alliance will be clarified at a meeting between AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli in the coming days.

The MHP’s Sadir Durmaz, who has been tasked by the party to conduct the alliance talks with the AKP, said both parties have voiced their willingness to continue their alliance in the local elections as well.

Turkey will hold local elections on March 31, 2019.

The MHP, allied with the AKP, performed surprisingly well in the general election on June 24, as it garnered 11.1 percent of the vote and secured 49 seats in parliament.

The party supported President Erdoğan in his presidential bid and provided him a first round win with more than 52 percent of the vote.

Many Turkey observers argue that the MHP’s importance for the continuation of Erdoğan’s rule will make him more nationalist in domestic and foreign policy.

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