Turkey: damn those local elections!

Sara Gon | Apr 02, 2019
A shake up is occurring in Turkey's local elections - sound familiar?

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing his first  major political setback after his party lost control of the capital, Ankara, and is under threat of losing Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul in a keenly fought local elections battle.

Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics since becoming Prime Minister in 2003.

In Ankara, the opposition People's Republican Party (CHP) won more than 50% of votes while the AKP (Erdogan’s party) trailed on around 47%. It is the first time in 25 years that the Islamist party has lost its grip on the capital.

The opposition CHP has received 48.79% of the counted votes for Istanbul, narrowly ahead of the AKP with 48.51%. Both parties claimed victory in Istanbul, however,  AKP's Istanbul mayoral candidate Binali Yildirim said that while opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu from the CHP had received 25,000 more votes according to preliminary results, he said that over 300,000 votes were "invalid."

Istanbul provincial head Bayram Senocak also insisted that Erdogan's party had won. He added that until now their results had always matched with official results.

"There is irregularities that can easily impact [the] election result.”

The losing, governing party usually claims irregularities by the opposition even though the former has all the influence.

South Africa in 2016 seems to be replicating itself in Turkey 2019. 

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