While it is not known whether the elections will be held in November or in March, the predetermined date, JDP has already started preperations. Those who want to be candidate from the JDP started the ball rolling. It has been roumored that there will be surprise candidates, among which there could be former ministers and MPs.
JDP, after the general and presidential elections, has also started preparing for the coming local elections. While candidates to municipalities are already waiting at the gates of the party for the elections said to be held in November, it is expected to be surprise names.
JDP Mayors had been deposed, including İstanbul and Ankara and also tens of mayors of eastern provinces were deposed and official caretakers were appointed to their posts. At the moment, in some cities of East and Southeastern provinces the municipalities are still being governed by the state governors, who had been appointed as provisional caretakers. It has been one of many information circulating at the lobbies that President Erdoğan spends special attention for JDP candidates to win these municipalities.
CANDIDATE CRITERIA OF THE JDP
JDP is basing its strategy on surprise names in order to win the metropol municipalities that were lost at the 2014 elections, such as Adana, Mersin and Manisa. Vice president of the party, responsible for local administrations, Erol Kaya stated that they would be more precise and picky in nominating candidates. It is told that the criteria for nominations would be “being free of any corruption allegations and blemish, productive in means of new projects and be loved by the people of the region.”
FORMER MINISTERS FOR ANKARA AND ISTANBUL
After the dismissal of the former mayors of Ankara (Melih Gökçek) and Istanbul (Kadir Topbaş), Mustafa Tuna and Mevlüt Uysal were appointed to those cities as mayors. Among the names referred Istanbul are former Erzurum MP Mustafa Ilıcalı and former Minister of Forestry Veysel Eroğlu but the list does not include Mevlüt Uysal. One of the rumors circulating around is that Mustafa Tuna has been subject to many complaints coming from party members that “he has not been paying sufficient attention to the city’s problems” and thus his candidacy is at risk. There are two surprise names mentioned for Ankara. One of them is Jülide Sarıeroğlu, the former Minister of Labor and the former Minister of Culture and Tourism and İstanbul MP Numan Kurtulmuş.
CADRE EXCERCISES FOR ELAZIĞ
In Eastern Anatholia efforts for the candidates for nomination has gathered pace. Three have already announced their candidacy for nomination from JDP in Elazığ. First is the incumbent mayor Mücahit Yanılmaz. The second is the provincial chairman of the party organization, Ramazan Gül Göze and the third is lawyer Murat Erdoğan. It is told that Murat Erdoğan has gathered a staff of 60 for the elections, been preparing big projects for the city and thus favored by the party central organization.
Hacı Uğur Polat, who had been appointed as the mayor of Malatya by proxy because the elected mayor Ahmet Çakır has taken seat at the parliament by the July elections, is also said to run a campaign for candidacy. In Bingöl, it is reported that the incumbent mayor Yücel Barakgazi who had previously shown the president of the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) will be cendidate for nomination.
FEVERISH ENDEAVOUR AT THE JDP
It is told that Ordu mayor Enver Yılmaz will not be renominated due to his mix up in Zekeriya Öz incident. Among rumors, it is also mentioned that the former Minister of Health, Ahmet Demircan and former minister Faruk Çelik will likely be nominated for Samsun and Bursa (the former elected mayor was dismissed), respectively.
It is reported that JDP is undertaking a feverish mobilization as if the elections would be certainly held in November, the organization being very picky for the nominations and waiting for Erdoğan’s approval for each nomination.