In a survey conducted by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) executive board, party delegates in İstanbul preferred Muharrem İnce as the candidate for İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayor in local elections scheduled for next March, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Thursday.
A total of 1,262 delegates from 39 districts participated in the survey, which presented them with six names, including the party’s presidential candidate in the June 24 election Muharrem İnce; General Secretary Akif Hamzaçebi; Vice Chairman Aykut Erdoğdu; İstanbul branch Chairperson Canan Kaftancıoğlu; İstanbul deputy Gürsel Tekin; and veteran member and deputy İlhan Kesici.
Erdoğdu and Tekin followed İnce in the survey.
In the presidential election on June 24, İnce garnered more than 30 percent of the vote, surpassing the party’s parliamentary vote by 8 percent, a success that sparked an intraparty debate to change the CHP leadership.
However, current Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu managed to retain his position as opposition delegates failed to collect the necessary number of signatures to force the board to hold an emergency convention.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won 50 percent of the vote in June in İstanbul, whereas his Justice and Development Party (AKP) garnered 42.7 percent.
İnce received 36.9 percent of the vote in İstanbul, while his party secured 26.4 percent.
According to observers, if the AKP forms an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the local elections as they did on June 24, big cities like İstanbul and Ankara will stay in the hands of Erdoğan’s party.