Istanbul voters pick İmamoğlu as mayor
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu headed for a comfortable victory on June 23 in a re-run of Istanbul’s mayoral election, having a lead of over 800,000 votes.
Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) on June 24 announced the official results for the Istanbul election re-run, declaring İmamoğlu as the victor with 54 percent of the vote.
“The renewed Istanbul elections are finalized. İmamoğlu received 54.21 percent of the votes,” said YSK chair Sadi Güven.
The number of voters eligible to vote amounted to over 10 million, Güven added.
“Some 8,925,063 electors voted. The number of invalid votes are 178,599,” he said.
As he emerged victor of the election rerun after unofficial results were released, İmamoğlu thanked his teammates and all Istanbul residents.
“You have protected our tradition of democracy, dating back a hundred years. Thank you, fellow Istanbul residents,” İmamoğlu said at a press conference. He also thanked his family as well as the leaders, deputies, and members of the CHP and its ally İYİ (Good) Party. “Mr. President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan], I am ready to work in harmony with you. I convey from here my request to meet with you as soon as possible,” he added.
“I would like to express my appreciation to our friends, the heroes of today, who are tasked in provincial and district electoral boards. They are this day’s heroes of democracy,” he said.
İmamoğlu stressed that a new beginning starts for Istanbul with the June 23 elections, vowing “extravagance, arrogance, wasteful spending and marginalizing” will end.
“Turkey won this election, not a single party. You will see it with time. I will not marginalize anyone. For me, a duty order awaits. This is the most precious, honorable and proud duty in my whole life,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Yıldırım congratulated his rival as preliminary results showed the CHP candidate’s massive lead in the do-over election.
“My rival İmamoğlu is currently leading,” Yıldırım said after the preliminary unofficial result was issued by the YSK.
“We will try to support him in every work he will do on behalf of Istanbul’s residents,” he added.
The winner of this election is the “national will,” and everybody should read the message given by the voters, Meral Akşener, leader of İYİ (Good) Party, said.
İmamoğlu narrowly won office as mayor of Turkey’s largest city on March 31 with 13,000 votes, having received 48.8 percent of the votes, while Yıldırım got 48.55 percent, according to official figures from the 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.
Meanwhile, the votes of the other two candidates from Felicity (Saadet) Party and Patriotic (Vatan) Party combined could not surpass 2 percent.
YSK head Güven conveyed that parties can appeal to the top election body by June 25, where the district election board’s ruling on the appeals will be finalized until June 27.
The provincial election board will have two days to respond to the district’s decision, and during the following three days appeals can be submitted, Güven said.
“I would like for this election to be beneficial to our country,” he said.