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article imageOp-Ed: Erdogan congratulates opposition winner of Istanbul election

By Ken Hanly     Jun 24, 2019 in Politics
Istanbul - The opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won the election for mayor of Istanbul on Sunday according to unofficial results. Tayyip Erdogan suffered a serious defeat but nevertheless has already congratulated Imamoglu on his win.
High Electoral Board still has to announce the official results
Imamoglu appears to have a comfortable lead over his rival from the ruling AKP party. With 99 percent of the vote counted Imamoglu has 54 per cent of the votes. Given his lead and the fact that Erdogan has already congratulated him on his victory there seems little doubt the Board will make it official.
Imamoglu does much better in this second election
Imamoglu had a lead of 775, 000 votes with almost all the votes counted. This compares to the slim margin of just 13,000 votes he had in the earlier election. The voters made it clear that the citizens wanted Imamoglu. The ruling AKP claimed that the March election involved irregularities and was annulled. Imamoglu's victory ends 25 years of AKP rule of the city.
The AKP candidate, who was former PM Binali Yildirim also conceded victory to Imamoglu. It appears that the AKP has conceded that they have lost the city. As mentioned earlier Erdogan also admitted the AKP defeat saying: "I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu who has won the election based on preliminary results."
Ironically, Erdogan had earlier claimed that whoever wins Istanbul wins Turkey.
Imamoglu's victory speech
Imamoglu of the Republican People's Party said that the result meant a new start for both Istanbul and Turkey and claimed that his supported had fixed Turkish democracy claiming: "We are opening up a new page in Istanbul. On this new page, there will be justice, equality, love."
The results of the rerun show that Turkey still can have democratic elections. This time around both Erdogan and his candidate for mayor clearly accept the results of the vote without attempting to again question the results. This is a promising sign.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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