Ekrem Imamoglu of the opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) has emerged the mayor of Istanbul, a major city in Turkey.
After polling 775,000 votes (54 percent) in the ballot, Imamoglu put an end to the ruling AK party’s 25-year rule in Istanbul.
The result is described as a big loss for President Recep Erdogan, leader of the AK party, who had said, “whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey”.
Erdogan was mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998.
Imamoglu had polled 48.8 percent of the votes in March to win the poll by a slight margin as against Binali Yildirim, AK candidate, who got 48.55 percent votes.
Yildrin, however, alleged electoral malpractices. The supreme electoral council consequently annulled the election and called for a re-run less than two weeks after Imamoglu took office.
Yidrin has, however, accepted defeat following the new results and congratulated his rival.
“According to the result as of now, my competitor Ekrem Imamoglu is leading the race. I congratulate him and wish him good luck,” Yildirim said.
Delivering his victory speech, Imamoglu, 49, said: “You protected the reputation of Turkish democracy in front of the whole world. You protected our tradition of democracy, one that has existed for more than a hundred years.
“We are opening up a new page in Istanbul. On this new page, there will be justice, equality, love.”
Yildrin was formerly the mayor of Beylikdüzü, a western district of Istanbul, between 2014 and 2019.