Er­do­gan party suf­fers elec­tion set­backs

The Buffalo News - - WORLD NEWS -

ISTANBUL – The can­di­date from Tur­key’s main op­po­si­tion party ap­peared headed for vic­tory on Mon­day in the race to be­come mayor of Istanbul, an in­flu­en­tial post that launched the po­lit­i­cal ca­reer of the coun­try’s pres­i­dent and one he had zeal­ously sought to keep in the hands of his rul­ing party.

Sadi Gu­ven, the head of Tur­key’s high elec­tion board, told re­porters on Mon­day that the op­po­si­tion can­di­date, Ekrem Imamoglu, was lead­ing his com­peti­tor, Bi­nali Yildirim, by nearly 28,000 votes.

Yildirim, who served as prime min­is­ter un­der Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, ac­knowl­edged his op­po­nent’s lead on Mon­day but did not con­cede de­feat.

The race was part of na­tion­wide lo­cal elec­tions held on Sun­day that were widely seen as a ref­er­en­dum on Er­do­gan’s poli­cies, in­clud­ing his fal­ter­ing ef­fort to pre­vent a down­turn in the econ­omy. Pre­lim­i­nary re­sults showed the rul­ing Jus­tice and De­vel­op­ment Party, or AKP, led all other par­ties among vot­ers. But op­po­si­tion vic­to­ries in sev­eral of Tur­key’s largest cities, in­clud­ing Ankara, the cap­i­tal, dealt Er­do­gan a sig­nif­i­cant sym­bolic de­feat.

Imamoglu’s vic­tory in Istanbul, if con­firmed, would be the harsh­est blow.

– Wash­ing­ton Post

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