Turkish opposition has come to power in major cities, few results show | Election News

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Partial results in local elections show CHP candidates ahead of AK Party rivals in Ankara and Istanbul.

Great Turkey opposition partyThe Republican People’s Party (CHP) looks set to retain control of the major cities, according to preliminary results of the country’s midterm elections.

With 49 percent of ballot boxes opened in Istanbul on Sunday, CHP Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu led with 50.05 percent of the vote against 41.2 percent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AK Party, candidate Murat Kurum.

In Ankara, with 29.2 percent of the ballot boxes opened, Mayor Mansur Yavas of the CHP led with 58.2 percent against 34.1 percent of candidates supported by Erdogan.

The CHP was also on the front line in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city, and a stronghold.

The state-run Anadolu news agency published other reports showing the CHP leading in major cities such as Izmir, Bursa, Antalya and Adana.

“Based on what we have achieved, I can say that our citizens’ faith in us has been rewarded,” Imamoglu told reporters at the CHP headquarters in Istanbul.

“The picture we have seen now is very interesting to us, but no decision is finalized before it is over,” he said.

Before voting, Erdogan said: “This election will be the beginning of a new era in our country.”

In the previous elections in 2019, Imamoglu of the CHP defeated Erdogan and the AK Party in the biggest election of his two decades in power when he won the race to become the mayor of Istanbul. The loss also struck a chord with Erdogan, who was born and raised in the city and became its mayor in the 1990s.

Sunday’s late election appears to represent a new threat to the president, who has been keen to rein in urban areas.

About 61 million people were eligible to vote for mayors in Turkey’s 81 provinces, as well as regional council members and other local officials on Sunday.

The international election is seen by experts and the general public as an indicator of Erdogan’s support and the strength of the opposition.

“Imamoglu is fine and he does what he should as a mayor, but he is not like Erdogan,” Omer, a retired AK Party voter, told Reuters in Istanbul.

If Erdogan wins Istanbul and Ankara, he would have the incentive to “change” the constitution to stand for a fourth term, Bayram Balci, a political scientist at the Paris Institute of Political Studies in France (Science Po), said. AFP news agency.

Meanwhile, Imamoglu’s victory could make him a rival to Erdogan’s ruling AK Party in the next presidential election in 2028.

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