CHP’s İmamoğlu receives mandate to take office as Istanbul mayor
Turkey’s election watchdog has announced the opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu as the winner of the municipal elections in Istanbul and has handed over the mandate nearly two weeks after the local polls closed, ending the 25-year rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the country’s largest metropole.
İmamoğlu was awarded the certificate of the election at Cağlayan Courthouse, where the Istanbul Election Council is located, to become mayor of Istanbul.
A handover ceremony between İmamoğlu and outgoing Mayor Mesut Uysal took place later at the Istanbul Greater Municipality.
Speaking to reporters at the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality building, İmamoğlu said: “I've received the certificate of the election on behalf of the 16 million people [of Istanbul].”
“We are aware of our responsibility. We know the needs of this city. We know the demands of all the people living in this city and we will immediately start serving them.”
According to the YSK, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İmamoğlu received 4,169,765 votes while the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate Binali Yıldırım garnered 4,156,036 votes. The difference between the two contenders is 13,729.
Earlier, the AKP had appealed to the YSK withhold the mandate from İmamoğlu while its appeal for the annulment and renewal of the Istanbul election was assessed. But the election watchdog rejected the appeal because after the recount, the results were clear that İmamoğlu had more votes than Yıldırım.
But, the YSK will continue to assess the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) application for the annulment of the elections. The AKP alleged that serious irregularities were observed in Istanbul elections to the disadvantage of their candidate.
Istanbul, with its 16 million residents and 11 million voters, is Turkey’s largest and therefore the most important constituency. It occupies an important place in AKP Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political life as his introduction to Turkish politics came after his victory in 1994 mayoral elections in Istanbul.