Ekrem Imamoglu candidate of the secular opposition Republican People's Party makes statements at CHP offices in Istanbul, Sunday, June 23, 2019. A former Turkish prime minister backed by Turkey's ruling party has conceded defeat and congratulated…
VOA's Turkish Service contributed to this report.
ISTANBUL — Turkey's opposition won decisively in the controversial re-vote in the Istanbul mayoral election. The victory is a significant defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who lost his Istanbul power base of 25 years.
Erdogan's candidate Binali Yildirim was quick to congratulate his opponent Ekrem Imamoglu for his victory. "My rival is ahead, and I am congratulating him and wishing him success," Yildirim said. "Elections mean democracy and these elections revealed one more time that it works perfectly in Turkey." Erdogan also congratulated Imamoglu in a tweet, “the national will has been manifested again,” wrote Erdogan.
Provisional results indicate Imamoglu increased his winning margin to over 700,000 votes with 54% of the total votes, up from the razor-thin majority of 13,000 in the March poll.
Erdogan successfully got election authorities to annul that victory on the technicality of ineligible election monitors.
Imamoglu speaking to reporters in his election headquarters said his win was a boost for democracy.
"This is a new beginning. A period of love, tolerance, respect has started," he said, "and waste, ostentation, arrogance, and discrimination is over."
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