Opposition says ‘injustice’ will galvanize Istanbul voters

International
Ekrem Imamoglu

Istanbul’s mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, candidate of the secular opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, accompanied by his wife, name not given, arrives for a televised debate with Binali Yildirim, of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, ahead of the June 23 re-run of Istanbul elections, Sunday, June 16, 2019. Televised election debates are uncommon in Turkey. The last one, between AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the then-leader of the CHP, took place before a 2002. The AKP has been in power since. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ISTANBUL (AP) — The opposition candidate for mayor of Istanbul said Monday he believes “the injustice” caused by the cancellation of his electoral win in March will galvanize voters in his favor in Sunday’s rerun election.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Ekrem Imamoglu also said a second victory for him on June 23 would amount to a win for “democracy and for Istanbul.”

In a major blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the 49-year-old from the center-left Republican People’s Party narrowly won the March 31 local election in Istanbul, Turkey’s financial center. Erdogan’s ruling party, along with a predecessor religious and conservative party, had controlled Istanbul for 25 years.

Erdogan’s party also lost control of the local government in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

After weeks of recounting requested by the ruling party, Turkey’s electoral authority annulled the result of the vote, revoked Imamoglu’s mandate and ordered the new election, citing irregularities in the composition of officials overseeing the vote. Critics say the body bowed to pressure from the ruling party.

“I believe the people of Istanbul will give the necessary response to this injustice at the polls as a result of their belief in democracy,” Imamoglu said.

He added: “This election is to repair, to treat, the oppression of democracy, the mistake against democracy, this conspiracy. And God willing, the victors will be Istanbul and democracy.”

Imamoglu couldn’t promise that the new election result not be canceled in the event of another opposition victory. His legal team, however, was working to prevent another annulment.

Imamoglu spoke a day after he and the ruling Justice and Development Party’s candidate, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, faced off in a live televised political debate, in first held in Turkey in nearly 20 years.

Yildirim insisted during the debate that the March 31 election had been “stolen” from him.

Imamoglu called Yildrim’s claim “slanderous” and said he was the “elected mayor” who had been “cheated of rights.”

Opinion polls cited by Turkish media suggest that Imamoglu has a small lead over Yildirim.

Imamoglu said: “We’re very happy. The political arena is really beautiful. There’s an unbelievable kindness. People are aware.”

__

Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

53°F Clear Feels like 53°
Wind
10 mph NNE
Humidity
44%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 38F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
39°F Clear skies. Low 38F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph NE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Crowley

51°F Clear Feels like 51°
Wind
14 mph NNE
Humidity
52%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 37F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
39°F Clear skies. Low 37F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph NE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Opelousas

51°F Clear Feels like 51°
Wind
12 mph NE
Humidity
50%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A clear sky. Low near 35F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
39°F A clear sky. Low near 35F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph NE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

Breaux Bridge

53°F Clear Feels like 53°
Wind
16 mph NE
Humidity
52%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 38F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
39°F Clear skies. Low 38F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
8 mph NE
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full
Clear

New Iberia

53°F Clear Feels like 53°
Wind
18 mph NNE
Humidity
55%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low around 35F. Winds light and variable.
39°F Clear skies. Low around 35F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
5 mph ENE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Full

Sidebar

Trending Stories