Erdoğan says his party will win İstanbul if new election is held

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President of Turkey and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivers a speech during AK Party's consultation and evaluation meeting in Kızılcahamam district of Ankara, Turkey on October 06, 2018. Murat Kaynak / Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is also the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has said his party will win İstanbul, recently taken by the opposition candidate, if a new election is held in the city, the pro-government Türkiye daily reported on Thursday.

Turkey held local elections on March 31, in which Erdoğan’s party lost the country’s three biggest cities, İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir.

Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won the election in İstanbul against the AKP’s candidate Binali Yıldırım; however, İmamoğlu was not given the mandate to govern until April 17 because the AKP objected to the election results, asking for a recount of votes in many İstanbul districts.

Even after İmamoğlu officially began his tenure, the AKP was still trying to secure the cancellation of the İstanbul vote through an application to the country’s top election authority, the Supreme Election Board (YSK), which is expected to make a decision next Monday.

According to Türkiye, Erdoğan does not believe warnings that a new election in İstanbul would lead to an even bigger loss for his party and tells party officials it would bring success to them in İstanbul.

He cites the results of the general election of June 2015, when the AKP lost its majority in parliament and a new election was held in November of the same year, as a result of which the AKP increased its votes and managed to again form a single party government.

“I see the same thing in İstanbul today. If a new election is held, I believe a hundred percent that we will win,” Erdoğan reportedly tells his party officials.

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