Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Tuesday announced the nomination of Ekrem İmamoğlu for the post of İstanbul mayor in local elections slated for March.
İmamoğlu, a 48-year-old businessman, has already served as mayor of İstanbul’s Beylikdüzü district.
The CHP decision was criticized on social media as İmamoğlu is not a well-known political figure.
Some observers were expecting former presidential candidate Muharrem İnce to be nominated for İstanbul’s top job; however, his competition for CHP leadership with current chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu after the presidential election of June 24 made that impossible.
İmamoğlu, on the other hand, won the race in 2014 for mayor of the Beylikdüzü district, which had been held by right-wing political parties since 1994.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has not yet announced its candidate for İstanbul but will most probably declare incumbent Turkish Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım as their nominee.
İstanbul’s elected mayor, Kadir Topbaş, resigned in September 2017 due to pressure from AKP leadership and was replaced by Mevlüt Uysal after a vote in the city council.