ISTANBUL, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party on Saturday named Binali Yildirim, speaker of the Grand National Assembly and a former prime minister, as its mayoral candidate for Istanbul in the upcoming local elections.
"Now, Istanbul is at a new crossroads," Turkish President and head of the ruling party Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as he announced the candidate in Istanbul.
"On the evening of March 31, 2019, Istanbul will select its new mayor who will carry the city into the future where its residents will laugh and live in peace and happiness," the president added.
Speaking on the occasion, Yildirim said he has a lot to do for Istanbul and its residents.
Yildirim served as the prime minister until the presidential and parliamentary elections held in June, and he became the speaker after the premiership was abolished following Turkey's switch to executive presidency in July.
As Turkey's most populous city and an economic powerhouse, Istanbul has notable importance for political parties in elections.