Deposed Istanbul mayor vows 'revolution' for democracy

Deposed Istanbul mayor vows 'revolution' for democracy amid outrage over election re-run
2 min read
09 May, 2019
Ekrem Imamoglu said he would lead a "revolution" for democracy ahead of next month's vote re-run.
Istanbul's deposed mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, who was stripped of his election victory this week, said on Thursday he would lead a "revolution" for democracy ahead of next month's vote re-run.

"What we are doing now is a fight for democracy and mobilisation for democracy. It will of course be a revolution once we carry it to its conclusion," he told AFP.

"The seven members (of the election body) will take their place in history like a black stain, but it is our responsibility to correct it. We keep on fighting," said Imamoglu, who represents the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

Turkey's top election body annulled the results of the March 31 mayoral vote on Monday, after the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan alleged "serious corruption" in the count.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered a big setback in the March 31 local elections, losing Istanbul and the capital Ankara to the opposition.

Both cities have been run by the AKP party and its predecessors for many years.

It was the first time the opposition had taken control of Istanbul in 25 years and was particularly sensitive for Erdogan, himself a former mayor of the 15-million strong metropolis.

Erdogan's party refused to accept the defeat in Istanbul and submitted an "extraordinary appeal" to the election body for a fresh vote citing "organised crime" but did not criticise the results for local districts, where the AKP won a majority.

Asked how his party would avoid any irregularities when the election is re-run on June 23, Imamoglu said: "We will be very cautious.

"We will fight hard. You will see hundreds of thousands get involved in the process. They will do their duty at the ballot box," he told AFP

"Thousands, tens of thousands of lawyers not only from Istanbul but from all over Turkey will help run the process with the ultimate goal of zero mistakes."

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