Istanbul election rerun set to be won by opposition, in blow to Erdogan – CNN International


With more than 97% of the votes counted, Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu was in the lead with about 53% of the vote, state news agency Anadolu reported on Sunday.
The Istanbul race is personal for Erdoğan. The result could transform TurkeyThe Istanbul race is personal for Erdoğan. The result could transform Turkey
Binali Yıldırım, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s candidate (AKP), had about 45%, Anadolu said.
Yıldırım appeared to concede the vote shortly after the unofficial results were announced, saying: “My rival seems to be leading the election. I congratulate him. This elections showed democracy is functioning in Turkey. I wish Ekrem İmamoglu will make good services to people. For his good services we will help him.”
If confirmed, the result would be a major blow for Erdogan. The long-time leader was hoping for a reversal of the original vote in March, which saw his AKP lose by a slim margin. The AKP challenged the outcome of that race, claiming fraud. In a controversial ruling, the Turkish election board canceled the result and ordered a new vote.
The March local election marked a political earthquake for Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003. AKP lost power to CHP in the country’s three largest cities: Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir.
Istanbul was a particularly painful defeat for the president, as his own political career started there.

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