İnce open to collaboration with CHP for local elections, says renowned journalist

Journalist İsmail Saymaz has reported that Homeland Party (MP) chair Muharrem İnce and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the CHP, met last week to discuss a possible collaboration for the upcoming local elections. Accordingly, former CHP executive İnce told Saymaz that “I do not want the AKP to win the opposition strongholds” and that he was open to cooperation.

This file photo shows Homeland Party leader Muharrem İnce (L) and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu (R)

Duvar English

Homeland Party (MP) chair Muharrem İnce is open to collaborate with his former party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), for the upcoming local elections, renowned journalist İsmail Saymaz told Sözcü TV on Dec. 6.

Accordingly, İnce on Dec. 1 met with Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the CHP, to discuss the local elections to be held on March 31, 2024.

İnce had told İmamoğlu that “You won Istanbul with a difference of 13,000 votes (in 2019). The Homeland Party received over 100,000 votes in Istanbul, even though its presidential candidate (İnce) was not in the election,” Saymaz said.

Moreover, İnce told Saymaz “Of course, I am looking forward to cooperation. I do not want the AKP to win the opposition strongholds. We will meet (with İmamoğlu) next week as well."

Saymaz also stated that he heard that Muharrem İnce might be offered the mayoral candidacy for the CHP stronghold İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.

This week, the right-wing İYİ (Good) Party refused the CHP’s offer to collaborate for some municipalities. 

Mansur Yavaş and Ekrem İmamoğlu, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), were the first opposition mayors who garnered enough votes in 2019 to gain mayorship in the capital Ankara and Istanbul after decades. In the 2019 local elections, the İYİ Party and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) did not field mayoral candidates for Istanbul and Ankara metropolitan municipalities, making the race between the AKP and the CHP.

Muharrem İnce

In the 2018 elections, İnce had run as the CHP's presidential candidate and received 30 percent of the votes. After losing the 2018 presidential elections, İnce's relationship with the CHP began to deteriorate.

In 2021, he resigned from the party to found his "Homeland Movement." In the same year, he and several former CHP members formed the Homeland Party as an alternative "Kemalist" party.

Despite initially running for the 2023 presidential election, he withdrew from the race three days before so that the main opposition “will have no excuses when they lose the elections.”

His Homeland Party received 0.92% of the votes in the general election.