Turkish government’s candidate for Istanbul mayor conceded defeat on Sunday after first results from rerun election are reported, according to AP.
The preliminary result of Istanbul elections shows that CHP opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu leading with 53.64% of the votes.
Sunday’s election results show 711,000 gap for Imamoglu compared to only 18,000 in the March 31 election.
Polling stations closed in Istanbul on Sunday evening, in an election that saw voters casting their ballots for a second time to select a new mayor for Turkey’s largest city.
Turkish voters headed to polling stations in Istanbul on Sunday in a re-run of local elections in polls that are seen as critical and as an “issue of survival” for President Tayyip Erdogan.
Voters are to re-elect new Mayor and other local officials for Istanbul after the March 31 elections were declared invalid following a victory of the opposition candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu.
Early in May, Turkey’s high election board decided to cancel the March municipal election and renew the polls after Erdogan’s party reported irregularities.
For the first time since 1994, the candidates of the main Turkish opposition, CHP, won in the mayoral race in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city and the most significant for Erdogan.
Imamoglu, 49, represented the opposition CHP party and served as the CHP’s head of Beylikduzu district in 2009. His opponent is Binali Yildirim, 63, the former Turkish Prime Minister from 2016 to 2018 and a founding member of Erdogan’s ruling party.
In an earlier speech for his supporters, Erdogan said that 56% of municipalities in Turkey will be run by his party. “I would like to thank all my citizens, especially our Kurdish brothers, for showing sensitivity toward the issue of survival,” he said.
A year ago, Erdogan claimed a major victory in the first round of the parliamentary and presidential elections, winning a new five-year term and defeating his ambitious challenger, a former physics teacher and centre-left politician, Muharrem Ince.