Opposition CHP candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu, has won the rerun of metropolitan municipality elections against Binali Yildirim, a candidate of the AK Party.

Turkey's main opposition CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won Turkey’s rerun Istanbul municipality elections results, getting 54 percent vote against 45 percent of the votes received by AK Party’s candidate Binali Yildırım. 

The elections results have showed the resilience of Turkish democracy, which defeated a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, in a complicated region, where military dictatorships and coups are common, often interrupting democratic governance. 

“Istanbul municipality elections held today makes (another) contribution to Turkey’s democracy in a very important way. (I hope) the results bring good,” Imamoglu said in a speech, after most of the released results showed that he won. 

AK Party candidate Yildirim, also immediately congratulated him in a short speech, wishing the best for Istanbul. 

“I congratulate him (Imamoglu) and wish (him) success. The results have showed that Turkey’s democracy has functioned in an excellent manner,” Yildirim said, within an hour of unofficial result announcement, whose release was allowed by the High Election Council (YSK). 

Election officials count votes at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, June 23, 2019.
Election officials count votes at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey, June 23, 2019. (Kemal Aslan / Reuters)

“I wish our friend Ekrem Imamoglu will serve Istanbul in a nice way. We will strive to help him serve (Istanbul), which I particularly want everyone to know,” Yildirim added. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdigan also tweeted, "I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu, who appears to have won the rerun of Istanbul's mayoral election ... without compromising democracy, the rule of law and the peace, prosperity and stability of our country, we will continue to walk towards our 2023 goals.”

The June 23 Istanbul elections have been a rerun elections after March 31 local elections ended up inconclusively. The difference between the two candidates during the earlier elections was 13,729 votes according to official results. 

The AK Party wanted all votes to be recounted after the elections, but the Supreme Election Council (YSK)  did not accept that demand. 

The AK Party, which thought that some of the recounted districts votes decreased the difference between Yildirim and Imamoglu from nearly 25,000 to approximately 14,000, asked the YSK to hold new elections. 

The YSK accepted the AK Party objection in May, deciding to renew the elections and scheduling for June 23. 

Source: TRT World