Politics focuses on Istanbul elections
With the decision of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) to renew the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections on June 23, politics has once again focused on elections. Local elections, which started to take over Turkey’s political discourse in the last quarter of 2018, will continue to be the main item on the agenda for another while. The first of half 2019 in Turkey will be consumed with local election debates.
The AK Party is clearly sensitive to the discomfort to various sections of society caused by the prolonged election process and in response has made elections the focus of its attention. Considering the problems in the economy, it has, on the other hand, shown a strong desire for maintaining executive and legislative power in order to clear away the election atmosphere in the country. The AK Party, which decided to make the parliament work after a long while, is planning to run the parliament until the beginning of the Ramadan holiday. However, a legislative activity that will be of concern to wider segments of the society and which will respond to the expectations of the business and economic world is not foreseen in this one-month work process.
Expectations on Istanbul elections
The political parties are rolling up their sleeves and redefining their strategies for the Istanbul elections, which is of critical importance. Sources in the AK Party on possible Istanbul election results is that the reason for the renewal of the elections should be well explained to the AK Party voters otherwise Ekrem Imamoglu’s ‘victim’ image will result in higher votes for him.
The most important problem ahead for the AK Party is the economy, according to AK Party members. The loss of Binali Yildirim for the second time in the elections may start a critical process for AK Party, members say. On the other hand, a growing splinter movement is another concern for the AK Party.
Recalling the victory of the AK Party in November 2015 elections following June elections, the other front within the AK Party believes that a similar process will be experienced in the coming Istanbul elections. These members think that the AK Party will come out victorious at the elections with better coordination and work, emphasizing the need to develop a discourse and strategy different from the March 31 elections.