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Istanbul election rerun set to be won by opposition in blow to Erdogan Updated: 2019-06-24 08:17:29 KST


The repeat result of Istanbul's mayoral election was again a blow to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won a clear majority of the vote in Istanbul.
Imamoglu was leading with 54 percent of the votes while the governing party's candidate, former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was trailing with 45 percent in the early returns.
Yildirim conceded shortly after the unofficial results were announced.
The outcome is a blow to Erdogan as Istanbul is Turkey's largest city and had been governed by his ruling party, AKP, for 25 years.
And that's why the ruling party contested the results of the first mayoral election held in March 31st, a vote in which Imamoglu won by a narrow margin.
Those results were annulled by the Turkey's electoral board after weeks of partial recounts.
The voided vote raised concerns domestically and abroad about the state of Turkish democracy and whether Erdogan's party would accept any electoral loss.
Imamoglu celebrated his victory on Sunday with tens of thousands of people that gathered across Istanbul, chanting "Mayor Again Mayor Again "

(Turkish) AP 4217211 / 1
"I won't be governing this city by myself. There's no such genius in the world anyway. I will take advantage of everyone and with every sector, regardless of political affiliation."

Because the ruling party still controls 25 of Istanbul's 39 districts and a majority in the municipal assembly, Imamoglu will need their cooperation to govern the city.
But analysts say the change of power will increase pressure on Erdogan's government.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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