CHP head pays visit to Istanbul mayor
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has paid a congratulatory visit to Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, on July 5, nearly two weeks after the latter’s landslide victory in the June 23 Istanbul election rerun.
The CHP leader was welcomed with an escort in front of the municipality building.
After the welcoming ceremony, Kılıçdardoğlu, along with deputies Akif Hamzaçebi, Orhan Sarıbay and the party’s provincial head Canan Kaftancıoğlu, paid a congratulatory visit to İmamoğlu.
“Mr. Ekrem İmamoğlu will turn the elections he won into a competition for providing services. We trust and believe in him. Our prayers and wishes of good luck are with him,” Kılıçdaroğlu wrote in the signature book of the municipality.
İmamoğlu and Kılıçdaroğlu later held a closed-door meeting.
During the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu congratulated İmamoğlu for his success in the elections, local media reported, as İmamoğlu promised not to “disappoint” the CHP head.
“This is the second time I am in this building. I came as a bureaucrat the first time, and now as a politician. We are launching a new era in municipalities,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, stressing on the principle of transparency in local governance.
İmamoğlu on June 23 secured a comfortable victory in a re-run of Istanbul’s mayoral election, having a lead over his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rival with 800,000 votes.
He had narrowly won office as mayor of Istanbul on March 31 with 13,000 votes, having received 48.8 percent of the votes, while AKP candidate Binali Yıldırım got 48.55 percent, according to official figures from the Supreme Election Council (YSK).
İmamoğlu served for 18 days before his certificate of election was revoked. Turkey’s electoral board annulled the results on grounds that there were polling clerks who were not civil servants after the AKP claimed there were corruption and irregularities in the vote-counting process.