Recep Tayyip Erdogan received a massive blow on Sunday when the opposition candidate won the controversial Istanbul mayor’s election following his retirement.
Ekrem Imamoglu won the first election held last March with a slight 13,000-vote victory in the 15 million-city population.
But after the triumph was overturned for allegations of fraud, he pledged to fight for a democratic system that he said was violated by certain quarters.
With over 99 percent of votes counted Sunday night, Imamoglu won the election after winning over 775,000 votes, 54 percent of the total.
“It is not a private group or party, but the whole of Istanbul and Turkey won this election”. Imamoglu said
“Mr. President, I’m ready to work with you in full harmony. From here I beg to meet you at an instant, “he said in his speech after win the election.
Critics accused Erdogan of refusing to give control of Istanbul, which is also Turkey’s economic hub and the source of conservative Islamic power since he won the quarter-century mayor’s election.
Imamoglu, however, only known as district mayor earlier this year, captured the hearts of a large number of voters through a positive campaign under the slogan ‘Everything will be good’.
It is contrary to Turkey’s aggressive campaign that is often seen labeling competitors with a range of less sweet titles and quarrels with voters.
He faced the AKP rival that ruled Turkey since 2002 and remains the country’s most popular political force.
The new Istanbul mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, late Sunday expressed his willingness to work with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in solving any problems surrounding the city.
“Mr. President, I’m ready to work with you in a harmonious atmosphere. I also asked for permission to meet you immediately, “he said after being declared the winner of the mayor’s election, beating Yildirim, Erdogan’s candidate on Sunday.