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Erdogan Sees Win in Local Poll, but Loses Turkish Capital

02 April 2019

Additionally, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on Monday: "I am delighted to congratulate friend of Pakistan Recep Tayyip Erdogan on another important victory in the Turkish local elections". Turkey's Supreme Election Council put the CHP on 4,159,650 votes, narrowly ahead of the AKP's 4,131,671.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP faced a major upset on Monday after local election results showed the ruling party had lost the capital Ankara and the country's economic hub Istanbul after a decade and half in power.

What should have been routine municipality elections morphed into a referendum on Erdoğan's 16-year rule as economic woes began to bite into his support.

Sunday's election was a significant victory for the opposition, which displayed good strategies and promising candidates, said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, the Ankara director of the German Marshall Fund.

The opposition has accused the state-run Anadolu news agency of bias in reporting ballot counts, and the agency's unofficial results for Istanbul were stuck at 98 percent of votes counted for hours. The CHP and its allies also posted gains elsewhere, increasing the number of city mayoral seats from 14 in the previous local elections in 2014 to 20, according to the preliminary results.

Imamoglu said he had a lead of 28,000 with only 2,000 votes uncounted.

But his opponent Ekrem Imamoglu dismissed Yildirim's claim as an attempt to manipulate opinion and asked him to be responsible while the final tally was being completed. CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu rebuked Yildirim for declaring victory "in haste". Erdogan first rose to prominence as a successful mayor of Istanbul between 1994 and 1998. Yavas says he is the victim of a smear campaign.

"We have won the election in Istanbul". Although not part of the official opposition coalition, the HDP did not field candidates in those cities and encouraged supporters to vote for the CHP or its ally, the Iyi Party. He also said that Turkey's economic woes were a result of attacks by enemies at home and overseas.

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Complaints by an parties are likely to take days to resolve, so a final official tally by the YSK may not be apparent for some time.

Shortly after the nearly three hours' data disruption by Anadolu ended, however, there was no definitive answer as to who won Istanbul. The HDP, Turkey's second largest opposition party, accounts for almost 10 percent of the electorate in cities like Istanbul and Ankara.

The killings weren't caused by "simple animosity", but happened when the volunteers tried to enforce the law requiring ballots to be marked in private voting booths instead of out in the open, Karamollaoglu tweeted. Two people were shot dead at a polling station in the eastern city of Malatya.

Moody's rating agency said the central bank's use of reserves last week to prop up the lira raised new questions over its independence, while uncertainty over Turkey's policy response to recession raises the risk of further capital flight.

This is exactly why those exhausted of or unhappy with Mr. Erdogan's rule need to vote, however, and why the ballot remains important.

Erdogan appears to have also been wrong-footed by the surprise move of the pro-Kurdish HD Party's decision not to contest the main cities outside of Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast region.

A strategic decision by the pro-Kurdish party to sit out critical races in major cities may have contributed to the secular party's increase in votes. According to the early results, the main opposition party has 31 percent of the vote.

Erdogan Sees Win in Local Poll, but Loses Turkish Capital