New polls, old AKP faces

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New polls, old AKP faces
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Aralık 18, 2008 00:00

ANKARA - Three and a half months away from the next local elections, the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has decided to go with five mayors of large cities, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, rejected any prospects for election alliance with its offshoot the Democratic Left Party, or DSP.

The AKP’s executive board meeting has given the green light to five metropolitan municipality mayors to run for five seats out of a total of 11, as they performed well in public surveys and had the support of deputies, the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review learned from a board member yesterday.

A decision on Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, who has been in office since 1994 with various right wing political parties and currently with the AKP, will be made after consultation with deputies. 

Gökçek’s fate will probably be clear Monday, as long as Erdoğan does not have a surprise in store. An AKP founder and mayor of Keçiören, a large district of Ankara, Turgut Altınok’s, decision to run as a candidate nominee has stalled a final decision on the capital city race.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Konya Mayor Tahir Akyürek, Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel and Mehmet Özhaseki from Kayseri had been nominated again. Erdoğan is expected to give the go ahead for Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and Kocaeli Mayor İbrahim Karaosmanoğlu on Sunday.

"Results from public surveys of 46 provinces are arriving and other candidates will be announced as they are decided during the rest of the week," Erdoğan said. The AKP will complete the evaluation of candidates for municipalities it does not currently control Jan. 3, Erdoğan added.

Meanwhile, CHP Leader Deniz Baykal hinted the CHP would not form an alliance with the DSP. Baykal said his party would nominate a candidate for Eskişehir where the DSP was strong. "It is better for Yılmaz Büyükerşen (Eskişehir mayor) to run for local elections for the CHP," Baykal said last night in a television program.

’Chadored members a step in the right direction’
Baykal defended the admittance of women who wore black chadors and headscarves to the party. "The CHP cannot turn people away from its door because of their clothing," Baykal said. He affirmed, however, his determination to oppose the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in universities. The admittance of members wearing a headscarf or chador was not a planned event or a political stunt, he said.

Baykal said the AKP had hurt the feelings of sincere Muslims who cared about religion and faith.
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