Imamoglu: I am willing to work in harmony with Erdogan

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS -

Turkey’s main opposition won a decisive victory in Istanbul’s re-run election on Sunday. With a lead of 806,581 votes, Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayoral candidate of the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), won 54 percent of the vote with nearly all ballots counted, Turkish broadcaste­rs said, while Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP) candidate won 45 percent.

Imamoglu called for reconcilia­tion in his first message. “I especially want to address President Erdogan,” he said. “I am ready and willing to work in harmony with you in accordance with the road map I presented to citizens before the election. No political issue is more important than the happiness of citizens and prevention of unemployme­nt.”

In his victory speech, Imamoglu thanked Istanbulit­es for “protecting Turkey’s century-old democratic tradition.” “You protected the dignity of Turkey’s democracy in front of the whole world,” the CHP candidate said, adding that the outcome of the election is not a “victory” but a “new beginning” for the city.

Earlier, Yildirim congratula­ted Imamoglu after preliminar­y results showed the latter leading the race. “We will try to support him in every work he will do, on behalf of Istanbulit­es,” he said.

Erdogan congratula­tes Imamoglu

Erdogan congratula­ted Imamoglu as unofficial results suggested a convincing win for the CHP candidate. “The national will has appeared once again today. I congratula­te Ekrem Imamoglu, who has won the election, according to unofficial results,” Erdogan said in a Twitter post.

Meanwhile, Sadi Guven, head of the Supreme Election Council, said the official results of the election will be announced soon. He said the council will issue the certificat­e of election to the deserving candidate, following completion of the appeals process.

Imamoglu and Yildirim vied for the metropolit­an municipali­ty of Turkey’s most populous city after a previous vote on March 31 was annulled by the country’s top election council last month.

Embracing all people

Later in an address in Istanbul’s Beylikduzu district, where he had been mayor before he ran for Istanbul, Imamoglu said he would embrace people from all walks of life. “There will be no such concept like minority in this city. We will embrace Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Jews and everyone in this city,” said Imamoglu. “We will build democracy and justice in this city. I promise you we will build the future in this beautiful city.”

The mayor-elect also thanked ruling party’s candidate Yildirim and President Erdogan fore their congratula­tory messages. Imamoglu vowed to end partisansh­ip. “We will work a lot for Istanbul starting tomorrow,” he added.

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