Main opposition party claims victory in rerun Istanbul mayoral vote

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Main opposition party claims victory in rerun Istanbul mayoral vote

According to initial results, Turkey’s main opposition, the Republican People’s Party – has won control of Istanbul. The candidate – Ekrem Imamoglu is set to become Istanbul’s Mayor-elect, a position that he had won during initial elections in March and before the election board made a controversial decision to annul the mayoral election due to allegations of voting irregularities by AK Party.

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid explains.

Ekrem Imamoglu, of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party CHP, is set to become Istanbul’s mayor – again.

Imamoglu initially defeated his rival AK Party’s Binali Yildirim during the local election in March with a narrow margin. Objections by AK Party officials of alleged voting irregularities had led to the annulment of the Istanbul mayoral election. This time – the difference is so significant Yildirim conceded just two hours after voting ended.

Imamoglu is a rising star within CHP, is a former mayor of Beylikduzu, one of Istanbul’s districts. In his speech Imamoglu emphasized the need to unite the country – and that he would be embracing all of Istanbul, not just the party’s supporters.

Imamoglu also stressed that he would run things differently from his predecessors… he promised transparency, to end wasteful spending, and to work with everyone in Turkey no matter their background or political views. He also promised to work day and night to try and solve Istanbul’s key issues such as poverty, unemployment and transportation.

Imamoglu also had some messages for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He stressed his readiness to collaborate with Turkey’s President on urgent matters related to the country’s issues… and made a public request to meet with him.

Erdogan had campaigned intensely for AK Party candidate Yildirim. Many analysts believe this defeat is also a major blow – and message – to Erdogan. Once the mandate is formally given to Imamoglu – it will be the first time AK Party and its Islamist predecessors will lose control of Istanbul in twenty-five years.

The win is a huge opportunity for CHP… Sunday evening, supporters across the city celebrated with chants and slogans. Winning control of Istanbul, a city that makes up about a fifth of Turkey’s population…certainly brings a lot of power and responsibility. One that could shape Turkey’s political future.

Cenk Karatas on outcome of Istanbul mayoral election

In Istanbul’s rerun election for Mayor, the opposition candidate has won again. Turkey’s main opposition candidate won during the initial election in March. But, those results were thrown out after allegations of voting irregularities. Turkish political affairs analyst Cenk Karatas spoke with CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg about the significance of this election.