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Erdogan's party suffered a historic defeat in Turkish local elections

Apr 1, 2024

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suffered an unprecedented election defeat at the hands of the main opposition party since he came to power more than two decades ago.

This is reported by Bloomberg.


According to preliminary results, Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) fell behind the main opposition People's Republican Party (CHP) for the first time in history in the municipal elections on March 31. The AKP's support was 35.5%, while the CHP is leading the race with 37.7% after almost 100% of the votes were counted.

The AKP was to win mayoralty in 24 cities, down from 39 in 2019. The AKP is leading the race in 35 provinces, compared to 21 in the last election.

Erdogan conceded defeat in an address to his supporters in front of the AKP headquarters in Ankara, promising "self-criticism."

"The March 31 elections mark a turning point. We weren’t able to get the results in local elections that we were hoping for," Erdogan said.

Sunday's results should increase the popularity of Ekrem Imamoglu, as the opposition mayor of Istanbul won by about 11 percentage points.

The vote is seen as a larger battle between two of Turkey's most notorious political rivals. Imamoglu gained control of Istanbul in 2019, ending Erdogan's 25-year control of the city. His AKP party also won in the capital Ankara against Erdogan's party in the same election, a crushing defeat for the Turkish president.

The results show that in most of the country, voters turned away from the ruling party, but in urban areas, the changes were more dramatic. This was mainly due to persistently high inflation even after Erdogan allowed the central bank to raise the country's key interest rate to 50%. But the authorities have yet to reverse the trajectory of price growth, which is running at an annual rate of just under 70%.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 01/04/2024

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