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Turkish opposition agrees on previous Ankara mayoral contender for local elections

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Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party on Tuesday agreed on an alliance for the post of Ankara mayor in local elections scheduled for March, nominating Mansur Yavaş, who had narrowly lost a previous bid for the top spot in the Turkish capital.

Yavaş, thanked CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener for their approval of his candidacy.

“It is my duty now to repay this trust in me with winning the race,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

In the 2014 local elections Yavaş, again from the CHP, competed with Ankara’s then-Mayor Melih Gökçek from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and garnered some 43.8 percent of the vote, while his rival won 44.9 percent.

A controversy over fraud was sparked on election night, but the Supreme Election Board (YSK) refused to recount the votes.

Yavaş, 63, has a right-wing nationalist background and was nominated by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in 2009 for the Ankara mayoral office.

Before that he was mayor of the Beypazarı district of Ankara, where he was born and worked as a lawyer for years.

Turkey will hold local elections in March.

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