The re-run of Istanbul mayoral election turned differently for ruling AK Party. Opposition party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu is leading. In the preliminary results he had a lead of 775,000 votes.
Imamoglu won the March election by 13,000 but it was annulled as AKP alleged irregularities. The ruling party failed to accept defeat after being in power for 25 years.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile tweeted a congratulatory message to Imamoglus saying it is the win of Turkey ultimately whoever wins Istanbul.
Imamoglu said it is a new beginning for Istanbul and with the help of his supporters’ democracy has been fixed.
In the victory speech the 49-year-old further added, “Mr President, I am ready to work in harmony with you.”
As of now, 99 percent of votes have been counted and it is learned the vote share of Imamoglu is 54 percent and that of Yildrim is 45 percent.
Ahead of March election, the name of Imamoglu was barely known while Yildirim had founded the AKP party. Between 2016 and 2018 he served the country as prime minister. In February he was elected Speaker of the parliament. Before it, he was minister of transportation and communication.
Meanwhile, Imamoglu’s supporters gathered in his stronghold and celebrated the victory.
One of the students among the crowd said, “Many young people desperately want to leave Turkey… But now, we might consider staying here. We are hopeful once again.”