According to the YSK announcement, 13 parties, including the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), are eligible to participate in the local polls, through which metropolitan and district municipal mayors, as well as provincial and municipal councilors, will be elected in all 81 provinces of Turkey. The latest local elections were held five years ago on March 30, 2014.
As the electoral process officially began on January 1, the order of the eligible political parties’ names on ballot papers will be determined by lots drawn by the electoral council on January 27.
The following parties are eligible to participate in the local polls in Turkish alphabetical order: Justice and Development Party (AKP), Independent Turkey Party, Great Union Party, Republican People's Party (CHP), Democratic Party, Democratic Left Party, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Free Cause Party, İyi Party, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Felicity Party, Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), Patriotic Party.
The eligible political parties are to submit their lists of candidates on Feb. 19 to the YSK, thus the temporary candidate lists will be announced on Feb. 22 while the final lists are to be declared on March 3. The official electoral campaign and propaganda period will begin on March 21.
TKP: ‘VOTE FOR COMMUNISTS’
The new issue of the TKP’s weekly journal, Boyun Eğme (‘Don’t Surrender’), has been published on Jan. 3 with a headline –Vote for the Communists- after the electoral process officially started in Turkey. “We’re breathing down the necks of profiteers, plunderers, and bosses,” the weekly journal said, with reference to the communist party’s main political work at workplaces for the organized struggle of workers against exploitative capitalists.
“We need to vote for the Communist Party of Turkey in order to enable the entrance of the communists into municipal councils. Even a single communist can spoil the profit games of the pro-establishment parties,” the journal addressed the working people, noting that the TKP will attend the polls for municipal councils throughout the entire country.
EXCLUDED PARTIES OBJECT TO YSK
Meanwhile, some parties have objected to the YSK’s eligible parties list for the local polls. Left-leaning parties such as the Labour Party (EMEP) and the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) have issued public statements, criticizing the electoral council. Stating that they already met the conditions set by the YSK, the ÖDP party said that they will object to the decision.
Selma Gürkan, the chair of the EMEP party, has released a written statement and called on the electoral council to immediately correct its decision, adding that “the YSK’s approach is far from objectivity, a completely arbitrary and anti-democratic decision.”
As the TKP was unlawfully prevented by the YSK from attending the parliamentary elections on June 24, 2018 on the grounds that the party “didn’t fulfill the conditions required for the political parties to participate in elections” although it was completely eligible, the communist party participated in the general polls with ‘This Social Order Must Change Platform’, including independent communist candidates, in highly populated and industrial provinces of Turkey.
The TKP called on the working people to vote for ‘independent’ communist candidates from ‘This Social Order Must Change Platform’ in parliamentary polls on June 24, while calling on them to carry out spoilt votes for the presidential polls in the same day to show that the capitalist order itself was spoilt in Turkey.