CHP reveals mayoral candidates for big metropolitans, including Istanbul and Ankara

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has revealed its municipal candidates in 226 constituencies, including Istanbul and Ankara, where current mayors Ekrem İmamoğlu and Mansur Yavaş respectively will run for another five year mandate.

The party assembly of the CHP convened late on Dec. 14 under the leadership of chairman Özgür Özel and other senior officials. The 60-seat assembly has agreed that İmamoğlu and Yavaş will run for Türkiye's two biggest cities in next March's local polls.

In Balıkesir, former member of parliament Ahmet Akın and in Bursa, former mayor of Nilüfer district, Mustafa Bozbey, will run for mayor. Bozbey lost the elections in 2019 with a small margin against his rival from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

In Bolu, incumbent Tanju Özcan, who once was expelled from the party but later pardoned by Özel, will run in the polls. The party assembly has approved that Mehmet Bilgin will run for Nevşehir, Recep Sarıçelik for Karaman, Bedri Ağaç for Gümüşhane, Coşkun Çağlar Duran for Elazığ and Kubilay Erel for Bayburt. These cities overwhelmingly voted for the ruling People's Alliance mayors in 2019 and the CHP candidates have almost no chance to challenge their rivals.

The CHP will continue to announce its candidates following frequent meetings of the party assembly in the coming weeks. In the next round, the CHP is expected to reveal its candidates for other metropolitan cities, including İzmir, Aydın, Adana, Mersin and Muğla.

It also continues to work to spot best candidates for 39 districts of Istanbul. These names will be decided following internal inquiries and, in some constituencies, following primary elections.

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