Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook

Türkiye: Erdogan's party in sharp decline in municipal elections

Correspondent in Istanbul.

- 4 reads.

Türkiye: Erdogan's party in sharp decline in municipal elections

Correspondent in Istanbul

The first results of the local elections illustrate a significant decline in the AKP, Erdogan's party in power for two decades. According to the partial counting of the ballot boxes, this Sunday evening, March 31, the opposition party CHP retained control of the two “flagship” cities won in 2019, Ankara, the capital, and Istanbul, which the “reis” wanted at all costs reconquer.

Of 63% of the ballot boxes counted at 10:30 p.m. local time, according to the Anadolu agency, Mansur Yavas was on track to be re-elected with 58.93% against 33.15% for his AKP opponent. As for Ekrem Imamoglu, he was credited with 50.44%. against 40.43% for his main opponent from the ruling party.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in power for more than two decades, had nevertheless thrown all his weight into the campaign, particularly in Istanbul, the cultural capital of Turkey where he was mayor in the 1990s.

In addition to his numerous trips across the country, he openly campaigned alongside Murat Kurum, his ex-minister of the environment known for his lack of charisma, of whom he shared the spotlight on most of the posters.

On Saturday, twenty-four hours before the polls opened, we saw him hold three meetings in Istanbul, before going to pray at the Hagia Sophia mosque... as on the eve of the last election.

For his part, Ekrem Imamoglu has redoubled his efforts to reach out to the population, overcome the divisions within the opposition which may have disappointed his voters, and remind crowds of his achievements that are less enthusiastic than five years ago. years, in a context where the virtual control of power over the media left him little room to express himself to the masses.

But the stubbornness of the Turkish “reis” to discredit him was not enough, it seems, given the first results.

In the opinion of experts, a re-election of the current mayor of Istanbul, the economic heart of the country, would already launch him into the race for the 2028 presidential election.

In a first speech to the press, and in view of the first results, he nevertheless preached caution. “The photo we have in front of us makes us happy, but we are waiting for the full results,” he told the press.

In Ankara, the political capital, Mansur Yavas, another big name in the CHP, is also moving towards a comfortable re-election, which would make him another potential rival of Erdogan in the race for power.

Other strategic cities are also given to the opposition for granted. Izmir, the third city in the country and traditional stronghold of the social democratic party, also remains in the hands of the opposition.

Also read: These fractures which render Turkey's membership of the European Union obsolete

The pro-Kurdish DEM party, for its part, is the winner in the large cities of the southeast with a Kurdish majority, including Diyarbakir, the informal capital of Turkey's Kurds.

In the rest of the country, AKP candidates remain in the lead as expected in several large cities in Anatolia (Konya, Kayseri, Erzurum) and the Black Sea (Rize, Trabzon), strongholds of President Erdogan.

On the other hand, and this would be a first, the ruling party seems to be on the verge of losing other cities in these traditionally pro-AKP regions, such as Giresun or Amasya and Kastamonu on the Black Sea.

If these results are confirmed, it would be a real turning point in voters' choices.

In all, 61 million voters - out of a population of 85 million people - voted this Sunday across the country for their mayors but also for municipal councilors, district mayors and muhtars (heads of neighborhood).

Despite political fatigue (the Turks are in their ninth election in ten years) and the lack of enthusiasm in a context of authoritarian drift and economic recession, the significant participation (76%) of voters finally proved their desire to express their growing discontent.

“The Turkish population saw this election as revenge,” observes political scientist Selin Senoçak.

According to the first results, the good scores of the new Islamist party Yeniden Refah illustrate a sanction vote expressed by the usual voters of Erdogan's party. “The AKP did not know how to come and see the new generation who grew up in big cities and had higher education,” observes analyst Ibrahim Uslu on the Sözcu television set, to explain these changes . In addition, he believes, “a part of his voters no longer find themselves in the authoritarian and ultranationalist turn of the party, initially focused on neo-liberal values”.

Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.