In a huge blow to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the opposition candidate won in the rerun of Istanbul mayoral poll.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won 53.6 per cent of votes while Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development party candidate took Binali Yildirim, took 45.4 of total votes.
“The era of waste, arrogance, marginalisation and prejudice is over in Istanbul,” said Mr Imamoglu. “The era of brotherhood and love has begun.”
“You have protected the reputation of democracy in Turkey,” he told supporters.
His opponent, former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, conceded defeat after initial results showed he was set to lose by a decisive margin.
“According to the result as of now, my competitor Ekrem Imamoglu is leading the race. I congratulate him and wish him good luck,” Yildirim said.
As per a few local reports, the Istanbul mayoral election was first held on March 31, when Imamoglu secured 48.8 per cent of the vote, while the AK Party’s Yildirim held 48.55 per cent, granting Imamoglu the title of mayor with a razor-thin margin.
According to some analysis, the election results come at a time of deep economic trouble for Turkey.
The uncertainty over the fate of Istanbul, Turkey’s business hub and potential delays in broader economic reforms has kept financial markets on edge.
The United States, its NATO ally, has threatened sanctions if Erdogan goes ahead with plans to install Russian missile defences.
Erdogan has cast a long shadow over Turkish politics during his 16 years in power. He has consolidated power in his person to the detriment of Turkish democracy, but his legitimacy is based on his uncanny ability to win elections, CNN reported.
The President was not a candidate in this election, but the loss is still personal. Istanbul is his birthplace and the city where he launched his political career.
Twitter users are sharing photos and videos with locals celebrating the victory on roads.
İstanbulluların en sevdiği oyun havalarının Ankara havaları olması… pic.twitter.com/n4BXZMmNFv
— Mahmut Hamsici (@Mahmut_Hamsici) June 23, 2019
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) June 23, 2019
— Alper Gel (@GelAlper) June 23, 2019