Baku, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Rufiz Hafizoglu:
The municipal election to be held in Turkey on March 30 is one of the major events in the background of processes taking place in the country and a rapid change in agenda.
Analysis of developments in Turkey supports the idea that the pre-election struggle and election preparations began much earlier than February 18, the date when election campaign officially kicked off.
The ruling and opposition parties consider March 30 as a "Day of Reckoning".
Despite the fact that 26 political parties will participate in the election, the main struggle will be between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the National Action Party (MHP).
Some 52,965,831 people in Turkey have voting rights - 26,704,757 of them being women.
In total 194,310 polling stations will be established in the country for the election.
Given the importance of municipal elections in Turkey the struggle for the municipalities will be in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
While many political analysts point out that the municipal elections will have no impact on the ruling party's future, it would be wrong to think that the results of these elections will not at all affect the future activities of the AKP.
The corruption scandal that took place in Turkey in December 2013, distribution of videos on YouTube depicting discussions of the Syrian issue by the Turkish security forces, do not only inflict a severe blow to the state, but also may seriously affect the ruling party's position.
The ruling party officially accused the movement of Fethullah Gulen (Turkish religious figure, currently residing in the U.S.) of fomenting the corruption scandal, and then in the wiretapping of statesmen and distribution of discussions on the Syrian issue.
The fact that AKP has been in power in Turkey for 12 years is proof that all other political parties are weak in comparison. At the same time, statements of the ruling party's representatives that "the members of Gulen's movement, who once shared the ruling party's opinion, will vote at the election not for the AKP, but for various political parties", shows that the March 30 election will not be quite so easy for the ruling party.
But at the same time it is wrong to think that the ruling party will lose in the election.
In general, if we analyze the political tensions in Turkey, we can conclude events inflicted more damage on the AKP than on Gulen's movement.
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of the Arabic-language news service desk of the Trend Agency.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.